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 Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 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 Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance.

PERFECTLY NORMAN

From the Big Bright Feelings series

A boy with wings learns to be himself and inspires others like him to soar, too.

Norman, a “perfectly normal” boy, never dreamed he might grow wings. Afraid of what his parents might say, he hides his new wings under a big, stuffy coat. Although the coat hides his wings from the world, Norman no longer finds joy in bathtime, playing at the park, swimming, or birthday parties. With the gentle encouragement of his parents, who see his sadness, Norman finds the courage to come out of hiding and soar. Percival (The Magic Looking Glass, 2017, etc.) depicts Norman with light skin and dark hair. Black-and-white illustrations show his father with dark skin and hair and his mother as white. The contrast of black-and-white illustrations with splashes of bright color complements the story’s theme. While Norman tries to be “normal,” the world and people around him look black and gray, but his coat stands out in yellow. Birds pop from the page in pink, green, and blue, emphasizing the joy and beauty of flying free. The final spread, full of bright color and multiracial children in flight, sets the mood for Norman’s realization on the last page that there is “no such thing as perfectly normal,” but he can be “perfectly Norman.”

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-785-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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