The magic dragon rides again, this time incarnated in a pop-up.

In 2007, this artist and publisher did quite a nice picture book of the lyrics to the song written by Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary) and Lipton. This is pretty much the same version, gussied up a little with pop-ups. Mostly, they take Puybaret’s gentle, smooth-edged, muted greens, browns, and blues and layer them three-dimensionally. Dolphins with mortarboards and gondolier shirts frolic, as do the peopleflies instead of dragonflies. In the end, it is a little girl (perhaps Jackie’s daughter, as he isn’t present) who comes to Honalee to awaken Puff once again to frolic in the autumn mist. A CD with four tunes is included, two of them versions of “Puff” but neither of those the original: One is a much-less-spirited version with Yarrow and his daughter Bethany singing; one is an instrumental. The other two numbers, also on the less-energetic side, are “Froggie Went A-Courtin’ ” and “The Blue Tail Fly.” The latter, although sung by generations of children, does have historical lyrics with ambiguous meanings related to slavery, and one wonders about its inclusion here. While this pop-up version adds little to Puff’s enduring charm, at least it does not distract. (Pop-up/picture book. 3-6)


Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8711-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

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A beguiling read-aloud for more than princess-and-dragon lovers.


The comforting friendship between a young girl and an enormous dragon deepens.

In Lovabye Dragon (2012), Joosse shared a hopeful tale of sweet friendship between an unlikely pair. Moving on from the first book, the friendship continues to grow here with an innocent game of hide-and-seek. Doesn’t Girl see the dragon hiding behind a very small rock? Both children and adults reading this story will chuckle, though for slightly different reasons. The two friends delight in their togetherness. When Girl takes her turn to hide, she runs to a faraway hidey-hole and becomes lost in the night, separated from Dragon. “But she cried silver tears / worry worry tears / and her heart thumped a sound / a trem-below sound / that only Dragon friends, / very very special friends, can hear.” So summoned, the distressed Dragon flies to her rescue: “I am here,” he rumbles; Girl whispers, “You’re a dear.” Although the theme of rescue seems similar to the first title, the thoughtfully constructed, rhythmic text sprinkled with clever neologisms moves the action forward, while the comforting palette of hazy grays, blues, and browns keeps the distress minimal. The teary and frightened Girl shines in her starlike yellow gown, muted yet hope-filled on the dreamy pages.

A beguiling read-aloud for more than princess-and-dragon lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6882-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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A humorous rhyming romp in which the usual fairy-tale villains are friends. (Picture book. 3-6)


Alice, the princess in the palace, loves her blankie, but it’s missing, so the search is on.

Her brother, Jack, used it as a curtain until a giant stole it to use as a hankie, until a witch flew off with it and made a cloak from it, until it was taken by…a cranky-looking dragon who happens to be snoring on it when Alice finds them. Alice is cranky herself but halts a brief blankie tug of war for a better solution: finding the dragon his own bedtime snuggly. It’s not easy. The dragon grows increasingly weepy, but he won’t snuggle with the witch’s “far too scratchy” cat, the giant’s feather pillow (it makes him sneeze), or Jack’s stinky socks. What can Alice do? A thorough search of the palace finally yields the dragon’s perfect snuggly and earns Alice a lifelong friend and protector. Muted mixed-media cartoon illustrations create rich backstories for each character combined with a sophisticated, smoothly reading rhyme scheme to produce a fast-moving friendship story that problem-solving young children will appreciate. Princess Alice, Prince Jack, and the giant present as dark-haired white characters.

A humorous rhyming romp in which the usual fairy-tale villains are friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0819-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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