Sweet and appealing.

READ REVIEW

WISHING FOR A DRAGON

While the rest of the house is sleeping, three imaginative children go on an exciting journey.

The sun is setting outside their bedroom window, but Olive, Barney, and narrator Ella (who sports a red tutu and golden crown) are wide awake and ready for adventure. Ella wants to see a dragon. Fortunately, a hot air balloon floats by, and the trio hops in. They drift to the sea and board a pirate ship, whose one-eyed captain is a bear—not a dragon. Failing to convince him to share his treasure, they hie off to a jungle, where they find “all kinds of animals and birds”—but no dragon. Three sets of yellow eyes stare out at them from the darkness. These belong to a trio of tigers, mama and two cubs. Sensing danger, the children run back to their balloon, escaping the pouncing mama tiger just in time. Suddenly, “the sky fills with inky clouds,” and lightning flashes near the balloon. Ella cries, “Stop!” and the balloon crashes down in a magical land. There, Ella finally meets her dragon, who flies the children back to their bedroom before soaring out of sight. Cameron’s story is routine, but her fresh illustrations, which have the child-friendly look of Tony Ross’, are delightful. Careful readers will have noted the toys and household pets in the children’s bedroom that morph into characters during their adventure.

Sweet and appealing. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4449-3622-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books/Hachette

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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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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It’s slight on story, but there is an abundance of shimmery glitter. And, of course, pink.

TWINKLE THINKS PINK!

Reminiscent of another rosy-hue–loving protagonist, Twinkle can’t get enough of the color pink.

Twinkle and her friends are invited to a garden party hosted by Fairy Godmother at the royal palace. It promises beautiful roses, which are the talk of the town. Twinkle, along with fairy friends Pippa and Lulu, can’t resist sneaking a peek before the party begins. The roses are all the colors of the rainbow. It looks divine, but Pippa can’t help but muse, “What a shame there aren’t more pink ones.” That’s all the encouragement Twinkle needs. She waves her wand, and (after a few missteps) suddenly everything in the garden is pink, right down to a winged rabbit onlooker and a shocked owl. Poor Twinkle still doesn’t have a handle on spell-casting. Have they ruined the garden party for everyone? The fuel for Holabird’s impetuous heroine’s fluttering is excitement rather than common sense. But she does confess to Fairy Godmother and admit her mistake. Warburton’s intricately inked illustrations provide enough fairy magic (tiny fruit houses with even tinier doors, a poodle with gossamer wings) to have readers poring over the details. The fairies present mostly white (other friends are shown on the endpapers), with only black-presenting Pippa providing diversity.

It’s slight on story, but there is an abundance of shimmery glitter. And, of course, pink. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2917-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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