This cautionary tale set in a library with dragon patrons is worth circulating.

DO NOT BRING YOUR DRAGON TO THE LIBRARY

Have you ever thought about bringing your dragon to the library? Don’t do it!

In rhyming couplets, a bunch of kids bring their individual dragons (six in all) to the library, and unsurprisingly, they break all the behavior rules. “Maybe you’re thinking, 'Don’t worry, it’s fine. / There’s plenty of space in that library of mine.' / Perhaps that’s true, but he’s sure to roam. / Then you’ll be wishing you had left him at home.” A double-page spread here shows a big, blue dragon with droopy ears nosing around the bookcases, while in the following spread, he’s pushing them over as he tries to fit between them, visually underscoring the refrain: “So do not bring your dragon to the library!” The vibrantly colored illustrations overflow the pages, use aerial perspectives, and accentuate the size of the dragons. It’s a clever approach to proper library do’s and don’ts. Kudos for including a kid in a wheelchair in the thoughtfully diverse cast, but jeers for the stereotypical demiglasses, bun, and drab clothing worn by the black librarian. The dragons are as colorful as the characters are multiracial, appearing in shades of vivid purple, blue, green, and orange polka dots. The text struggles with scansion and rhythm, but the energy of the illustrations helps to mitigate its flaws.

This cautionary tale set in a library with dragon patrons is worth circulating. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62370-651-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A slim, feel-good story, as light and airy as the rainbows that grace its pages.

NOT QUITE NARWHAL

Being true to yourself means embracing differences and striding (or paddling) fearlessly into the world.

Emerging from a giant clam, baby unicorn Kelp lives among narwhals, believing he’s just not as good as everyone else at swimming, appreciating a squid dinner, or breathing underwater (he sports a glass diving helmet—with a gasket-encircled hole for his horn). Swept close to shore one day, he spies for the first time an adult unicorn and, struck by the resemblance to himself, totters onto solid ground. The “land narwhals” explain to him that they—and he—are unicorns. Kelp’s blissful new life of learning to do special unicorn things amid sparkles and rainbows is punctuated by sadness over the narwhal friends he left behind. Upon returning to his watery home, Kelp learns that the narwhals knew all along that he was actually a unicorn. Following a brief internal tussle over where he truly belongs, Kelp recognizes that he doesn’t have to be just one thing or another and happily unites his friends at the shoreline. As seen in Sima’s soft, digital illustrations, Kelp is adorable, and she evokes both undersea and aboveground environments artfully. The message is an appealing one that could speak to many family situations relating to multiple identities, but the central dilemma is resolved so quickly and easily that there is little room for emotional engagement.

A slim, feel-good story, as light and airy as the rainbows that grace its pages. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6909-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Boy and dragon close their day with a bedtime read ("Knight Boy," which looks like a graphic novel featuring a...

ME AND MY DRAGON

From the Me and My Dragon series

Young dragon lovers not quite ready for the film How to Train Your Dragon will appreciate this gentle, imaginative account of what having a dragon as a pet might be like.

Charming digital art features a bright-red, not-too-scary dragon, who starts out small at "Eddie's Exotic Pets." Exotic he may be, but with understated humor he's shown doing all kinds of regular-pet stuff: going to the vet for a checkup, sticking his head out the car window on the way home (except this pet's head sticks out of the sunroof), chewing on a shoe, going for a walk on a leash (except he flies, rather than walks) and more. The goofy expression on Sparky's face is just like that of an eager, friendly puppy, complete with tongue hanging out, and is especially funny when he's scaring folks unintentionally (sticking his head in the schoolroom window for show-and-tell, for example). The wry tone of the text complements the illustrations' comedy, especially in issuing some cautionary advice: "(But don't give them broccoli. It gives them gas. And you don't want a fire-breathing dragon with gas.)"

Boy and dragon close their day with a bedtime read ("Knight Boy," which looks like a graphic novel featuring a familiar-looking red dragon); this amiable story can help real-life families do the same. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58089-278-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more