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)