Friendship and supportive verbal encouragement help overcome fearful resistance in this pleasant if not especially...

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LITTLE IFFY LEARNS TO FLY

Learning to fly is a scary idea for Little Iffy, who is a “bitty griffin…part lion and part eagle.”

Just the thought of being up in the air is terrifying. Little Iffy wonders how he would descend and chooses to safely stay down. Eggs Pegasus, Iffy’s flying-horse friend, hatches several plans on the playground to help him take off. He is encouraged to swing high, go down the slide, or be lifted by his friends and to “flap your wings” each time. But the frightened little griffin politely declines all suggestions. “No, thank you. Down is best.” Searching for the safest spot, Iffy sits on “the down-est place he can find”—the seesaw—only to be thrown straight up in the air when his friends, stacked one on top of each other, tumble onto the raised side. “Whoops!” / “Yikes!” Soaring up, Iffy grabs onto a floating red balloon and begins to descend slowly until a bee’s stinger pops it, sending Iffy down much more rapidly. “FLAP YOUR WINGS, LITTLE IFFY!!!” And just like that, Iffy is flying. It’s hardly an original story, but simple, unencumbered dialogue and easy phrasing carry it along, and little listeners may repeat those heartening words of encouragement. Rounded, digital cartoon art of cuddly mythological creatures (there are also a dragon, faun, and unidentifiable blue figure) in pale hues sustain the central message.

Friendship and supportive verbal encouragement help overcome fearful resistance in this pleasant if not especially remarkable tale. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5039-3986-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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Most young readers, even those in diapers, would agree.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS 2

THE SEQUEL

From the Dragons Love Tacos series , Vol. 2

As if the fiery disaster of the first outing (2012) weren’t bad enough, news that the world’s entire supply of tacos has been used up leaves not just the dragons dismayed.

Fortunately, there’s a time machine in the garage, so it might be possible to bring new seed stock for taco trees (didn’t you know?) from the past. Unfortunately, said device is hard to calibrate— first they undershoot back to the previous volume’s spicy-salsa–fueled holocaust and then overshoot to a similar catastrophe in prehistoric times. Subsequent ventures into alternate space-time continua lead to universes where dragons love…diapers (“That’s not right”), and tacos chow down on dragons (“Weird, but closer!”). Then, when the chunky white lad leading the draconic expedition does finally get it right, only the taco in his lap survives the trip back to the present. That’s enough for a happy ending, though, as Salmieri shows in the last of his naïve-style cartoon scenes with a taco party in which dragons and diversely hued figures (some recognizable) from various historical and fantasy realms mingle. “After all,” as Rubin puts it, “dragons love diapers. I mean, tacos. Dragons love tacos. / Heck, everyone loves tacos.”

Most young readers, even those in diapers, would agree. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42888-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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