The Library Dragon
A Grade 5 Reader's Theatre Presentation
Tags: the library dragon
Added: 1 year ago
"The Library Dragon" by Carmen Agra Deedy
When an elementary school advertises for a "thick-skinned professional" who is "on fire with enthusiasm," it gets just that-and then some. A bespectacled, dress-wearing dragon, Miss Lotta Scales replaces all the books with spanking clean ones, and refuses to let the students ("with their gooey fingers and snotty noses") touch them. The kids' grades are "going up in smoke," but neither the principal nor the teachers can convince the headstrong dragon to let the pupils near the stacks until one myopic girl accidentally wanders into the library and begins to read a story ("Snuff the Magic Dragon") aloud. The tale manages to soften the librarian's scaly skin-figuratively and literally. Deedy (Agatha's Feather Bed) is an accomplished storyteller, and kids will likely enjoy her frequent puns and wordplay. White heads off imminent cutesiness with droll, stylized illustrations, filled with vibrant color and lots of comical details.
NARRATOR 1: Sunrise Elementary School had a BIG problem. The new librarian, Miss Lotta Scales, was a real dragon.
LOTTA SCALES: (Delivered in a grandiose voice) I was hired to guard the library!
NARRATOR 2: She took her job seriously. The hundreds of new, clean books replaced the old, smudged ones. These shining gems neatly lined the shelves of her library lair.
LOTTA: (With a contented sigh) My books are in perfect order. No 398.2s in the 500s. Absolutely no fiction to be found among the biographies!
NARRATOR 3: She kept a fiery eye out to make sure no one removed any books from the shelves. Her motto was:
LOTTA: (In a firm voice) A place for everything and that's where it stays.
NARRATOR 4: The very thought of sticky little fingers --
NARRATORS 1 & 2: touching and clutching,
NARRATORS 3 & 4: pawing and clawing,
NARRATORS 5 & 6: smearing and tearing --
NARRATOR 4: --her precious books just made her hot under the collar.
NARRATOR 5: She thought that the way some books spread an unfounded fear of dragons was positively inflammatory.
LOTTA: (Insulted) Humph! Books that depict cruelty to dragons should never have been published in the first place.
NARRATOR 6: She got so fired up about this, she didn't just discard the books she didn't like, she incinerated them. The kids watched in awe.
ALBERT: (Stage whisper) Well, that settles it. Where there's smoke, there's fire, and that Miss Scales is a real dragon, all right.
NARRATOR 1: Not surprisingly, the kids at Sunrise Elementary School began to dread Library Day.
NARRATOR 2: It wasn't long before the teachers stopped sending the children to the Library – they kept coming back singed.
NARRATOR 3: First, the principal tried to reason with Miss Scales, but his plan backfired. Instead of cooling her down, he just fanned the flames.
PRINCIPAL: And finally, don't forget who does the hiring, Miss Scales.
LOTTA: Oh really? And who does the firing?
NARRATOR 4: She gave him a glare and a flare that caught his tie on fire. As he waved the smoke out of his face, he said:
PRINCIPAL: Now cut that out!
LOTTA: No smoking in the Library.
NARRATOR 5: The principal fumed. The teachers were incensed. Worst of all, the children had missed reading and storytime for weeks and their grades were going up in smoke.
NARRATOR 6: So, the teachers formed a delegation. After a trip to the cafeteria kitchen to fortify themselves, they paid a visit to Miss Scales.
NARRATOR 1: Miss Lotta Scales smoldered as she listened to sweet Miss Lemon the kindergarten teacher.
MISS LEMON: (Sweetly) . . . and most importantly, Miss Scales, dear, the children miss storytime.
LOTTA: Storytime, shmorie-time. Why, if I let the children touch these books with their gooey fingers and snotty noses, this Library wouldn't last a week.
NARRATOR 2: Miss Lotta stared so furiously at the teachers that they threw down their weapons and clanged out. All except sweet Miss Lemon.
MISS LEMON: You know, Miss Scales, we all love the books as much as you do . . . , but the Library belongs to the children.
LOTTA: (Laughing at her own puns) Good Knight, Miss Lemon, you slay me. Why the idea of storytime is simply medieval.
NARRATOR 3: As usual, the dragon had the last word. She raised her claws above her head and roared, which sent Miss Lemon scurrying from the Library.
LOTTA: (Chuckling) That Miss Lemon is a real spitfire.
NARRATOR 4: Miss Lotta Scales had spewed so much smoke and fire at sweet Miss Lemon that she had to lie down for a nap. She was really draggin'. In fact, she was burned out.
LOTTA: Being a Library Dragon can be such a lonely job. (Heaves a mighty sigh)
NARRATOR 5: At the same moment as Miss Scales closed her scaly eyelids, Molly Brickmeyer accidentally wandered into the Library.
NARRATOR 6: Molly was on a quest. She had lost her glasses and couldn't see a thing without them unless it was right under her nose. She stumbled into a bookshelf and a book fell onto her lap. She never saw the sign that read:
ALL NARRATORS: Do Not Touch the Books: For Display Only.
NARRATOR 1: It was over her head. So she held the book right under her nose and began to read out loud.
MOLLY: (Reading quietly) Once upon a time there was a magic dragon named Snuff . . .
NARRATOR 2: First a class of second graders, in line for the water fountain, heard her and tiptoed in to listen.
NARRATOR 3: Then, the fourth graders, outside playing kickball, heard a story being read and crowded around the windows.
ALBERT: Speak up, please!
MOLLY: (Reading louder) . . . and with that, Snuff wiped a hot tear from his snout and smiled at the little girl . . .
NARRATOR 4: Word of storytime in the Library spread like wildfire at Sunrise Elementary School. Everyone was listening.
ALL NARRATORS: Even the Library Dragon. And her ears were burning.
NARRATOR 5: Slowly, Miss Lotta Scales rose up from behind a bookshelf and looked at the boys and girls huddled around Molly.
NARRATOR 6: She'd never seen anything quite like it:
ALL NARRATORS: The children looked like they belonged there.
MOLLY: (Reading) I love you, Snuff.
LOTTA: (Growls) Give me that book, Molly Brickmeyer.
MOLLY: (In a cheerful voice) Here you go, Miss Scales.
NARRATOR 1: Miss Lotta Scales took the book and eyed it suspiciously as it hung from her claw. First she sniffed it.
NARRATOR 2: Then she checked the spine for cracks.
NARRATOR 3: Then she checked each page for stains and smudges.
NARRATOR 4: Finally Miss Scales looked around at the children and cleared the smoke from her throat.
LOTTA: (Coughing loudly) Now, where were we? Why, yes . . . I love you, Snuff . . .
NARRATOR 5: At first the children were too nervous to listen. But when Molly Brickmeyer climbed up onto Miss Lotta Scales' lap – and didn't get scorched – they relaxed.
MOLLY: (Snuggling) Miss Scales, you're warm.
LOTTA: (Crisply) Don't interrupt.
NARRATOR 6: Everyone was listening so intently that they almost missed it: as she read, Miss Lotta Scales' scales began to fall on the linoleum floor with a clickety-clack, clickety-clack,…
NARRATOR 1 & 2: (Faster) clickety-clack, clickety-clack,
NARRATOR 3 & 4: (Faster still) clickety-clack, clickety-clack,
NARRATOR 5 & 6: (Fastest of all) clickety-clack, clickety-clack,
NARRATOR 1: clickety-clack – until all that was left was Miss Lotty, librarian and storyteller, sitting on a mountain of yellow, green, and purple scales with Molly Brickmeyer, Dragon Slayer Extraordinaire, on her lap.
NARRATOR 2: The rest of the children warmed up to Miss Lotty right away.
NARRATOR 3: The changes in Miss Lotty's new kid-friendly library were hard to miss.
NARRATOR 4: Not surprisingly, the kids at Sunrise Elementary School began to love Library Day.
NARRATOR 5: Miss Lotty's transformation, however, was not complete . . .
NARRATOR 6: But then, every librarian needs to be a little bit of a dragon – or else,
ALL NARRATORS: WHO WOULD GUARD THE BOOKS?
MOLLY: (Smiles, and whispers to the audience) And that's the end of our tale!