A story-reading dragon—what’s not to like?
Duncan the Dragon loves to read. But the stories so excite him, his imagination catches fire—and so do his books, leaving him wondering about the endings. Does the captain save the ship? Do aliens conquer the Earth? Desperate to reach the all-important words “The End” (“like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake”), he tries reading in the refrigerator, in front of a bank of electric fans, and even in a bathtub filled with ice. Nothing works. He decides to ask a friend to read to him, but the raccoon, possum, and bull all refuse. Weeping, Duncan is ready to give up, but one of his draconic tears runs “split-splat into a mouse,” a book-loving mouse! Together they battle sea monsters, dodge icebergs, and discover new lands, giving rise to a fast friendship. Driscoll’s friendly illustrations are pencil sketches painted in Adobe Photoshop; she varies full-bleed paintings with vignettes surrounded by white space, imaginary scenes rendered in monochrome to set them apart. Duncan himself is green, winged, and scaly, but his snout is unthreateningly bovine, and he wears red sneakers with his shoelaces untied—a nicely vulnerable touch. Though there are lots of unusual friendship stories in picture books, the vivid colors, expressive faces, and comic details make this one likely to be a storytime hit.
Like the last sip of a chocolate milkshake, it’s very satisfying. (Picture book. 4-6)