By way of background, as a lecturer for the J. Paul Getty Foundation, I had written the initial short story version of the current story as part of my presentation for a hypothetical 4th grade class during a summer in-service for elementary teachers organized by the J. Paul Getty Foundation. In the Foundation’s approach to art education, called Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE), all of educational artistic components are addressed, not just art production. My role was to demonstrate how you could teach art history to 4th graders. My lecture discussed a print of a Chinese Dragon.
My research for the lecture had provided a great amount of information. Instead of reciting a laundry list of dragon characteristics, I developed a short story that incorporated these attributes. Thus, The Littlest Dragon and the Princess was born. Recently, having stopped teaching to focus on my art and writing, I returned to the story, creating a children’s middle reader chapter book with illustrations. I made a number of changes to the initial story, including adding a new central character, an old Dragon Sage, who counsels the littlest dragon when he has social problems at dragon school.