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LOVABYE DRAGON by Barbara Joosse


by Barbara Joosse & illustrated by Randy Cecil

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5408-5
Publisher: Candlewick

When the tears of a young princess trickle onto a dragon, a sweet friendship is born.

With lovely lilting words, Joosse creates a friendship born out of loneliness and tears between a young princess who longs for a dragon and a friendly dragon who dreams of a girl for a friend. The beginning half of the story builds up to their first meeting, as the girl weeps a stream of tears and the dragon follows it across the landscape to her room in the castle. “I am here!” roars Dragon. “You’re a dear!” whispers Girl. The dragon is big, the princess is little. Though great, their differences on the outside are no match for the bond of friendship that helps keep the monsters away. The remainder of the book is a love fest of happiness and togetherness, as the two friends find each other and find out about each other. Strong musicality in the text makes for a sing-along feel, almost like a nursery rhyme. "Snore-asleep was the dragon / dream-asleep was the dragon / but the trickle of tears / little tickle of tears / woke him up. / Gluk!" The oil-painting illustrations are muted and hazy, giving the tale a dreamlike quality full of nighttime blues, browns and purples. With on-the-dark-side skin and stylized pigtails, the princess has enough ethnic ambiguity for refreshingly inclusive appeal.

A strong and hopeful tale. (Picture book. 3-6)