Tomas discovers a strange cactus at the back of his grandad’s messy garden with the most amazing fruit: tiny dragons.
When Grandad gets the urge to tidy up the weedy mess in his back garden, Tomas happily gives himself blisters helping out. He’s reluctant to chop down the fascinating cactus hidden behind the weeds, though. It “looks like a giant upturned mophead” and is covered with the strangest fruit, glowing and spiky. Tomas’ online searches tell him the strange fruit is pitaya, a dragon fruit—but unlike a real pitaya, Tomas’ explodes in the middle of the night, hatching into a tiny dragon. The dragon is lovely, a gorgeous, flying, magical creature. It is also, like many babies, a creature that mainly eats and poops. There’s flammable, exploding poo everywhere: in his dad’s porridge, on his mother’s best towel, and in Tomas’ gym bag—and even illustrated in smoldering glory. As Tomas seeks to keep his dragon hidden while seeking any others that might have hatched, the lively illustrations keep pace with the slapstick action. Blond, white Tomas and his lovely pet are not the stars of the irreverent pictures, though; that honor goes to the action: a terrifying leaping cat, a grumpy neighbor toppling into a wheelbarrow of flaming cabbages, and more.
Never has so much toilet humor been so charming. (Fantasy. 8-11)