Fun enough for a single read-aloud, but mostly fluff.

ROSIE THE DRAGON AND CHARLIE MAKE WAVES

Charlie has chosen an unusual pet, and managing her at the community pool takes a lot of effort.

Charlie, a black child with a high top fade, didn’t have a dragon in mind when adopting a pet, but Rosie, a round-bellied, dark pink dragon, liked Charlie. “And now we’re best friends. We do everything together.” Today, they are going to the pool. Last time “didn’t go that well,” so this time Charlie is prepared. First, Charlie reviews the rules with Rosie. Then Charlie chases after her, keeping her from terrorizing the families with her play. After many pages of damage control, Charlie finally gets Rosie to calm down, give both Charlie and some friends a ride, and eventually swim on her own. Charlie’s pep talk to Rosie before her solo swim can be taken as sound advice for life. But can Charlie keep her from downing the gummy skunks? (And if they give her such terrible breath, why did Charlie bring them along?) The digital illustrations are bright, playful, and attractive, well suited to the story. The dragon’s shenanigans go on far too long, with some abrupt, arbitrary changes in direction, and the humor won’t appeal to everyone. Still there are some young dragon lovers and fans of mischief who will revel in this silly romp.

Fun enough for a single read-aloud, but mostly fluff. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4292-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited.

LET'S DANCE!

Dancing is one of the most universal elements of cultures the world over.

In onomatopoeic, rhyming text, Bolling encourages readers to dance in styles including folk dance, classical ballet, breakdancing, and line dancing. Read aloud, the zippy text will engage young children: “Tappity Tap / Fingers Snap,” reads the rhyme on the double-page spread for flamenco; “Jiggity-Jig / Zig-zag-zig” describes Irish step dancing. The ballet pages stereotypically include only children in dresses or tutus, but one of these dancers wears hijab. Overall, children included are racially diverse and vary in gender presentation. Diaz’s illustrations show her background in animated films; her active child dancers generally have the large-eyed sameness of cartoon characters. The endpapers, with shoes and musical instruments, could become a matching game with pages in the book. The dances depicted are described at the end, including kathak from India and kuku from Guinea, West Africa. Unfortunately, these explanations are quite rudimentary. Kathak dancers use their facial expressions extensively in addition to the “movements of their hands and their jingling feet,” as described in the book. Although today kuku is danced at all types of celebrations in several countries, it was once done after fishing, an activity acknowledged in the illustrations but not mentioned in the explanatory text.

The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63592-142-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more