Kids won’t be dragon their feet to hear this lively pre-bedtime book.

DON'T WAKE THE DRAGON

From the Clever Storytime series

Careful with those page turns. The noise might wake the dragon.

THE most rascally dragon” has just fallen asleep, and loud page swishes and other cacophony could waken her. Turning the first page bangs the door shut so thunderously the noise surely might rouse her. Thankfully, it doesn’t, but the following page turn requires that readers say “Shhh!” three times to ensure the dragon’s continued slumber. Subsequent loud noises, including clanging cookware and a clamorous birthday celebration, require closer scrutiny of the snoozing dragon. After being instructed to rock the book, readers find her awake and unamused. What to do? “Stroke her scales?” Sing to her? Happily, a lullaby works soothing magic—and readers/listeners are urged to lie down, tuck themselves in with the dragon, and say “shhh” again. The concluding warning: “close the book very gently”…and, well, you know the rest. This rollicking interactive book will easily engage young children, who’ll be eager to heed all the book’s comical instructions before settling in for a peaceful night. Colorful, amusing, energetic illustrations enliven the text. Frequent use of larger and dynamically emphasized fonts to enhance animated read-alouds and onomatopoeic words that reflect numerous sound effects add to the fun.

Kids won’t be dragon their feet to hear this lively pre-bedtime book. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-949998-64-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clever Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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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 Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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A comforting lesson for kids that the things that we fear are only as large or small as we make them.

TRAP THE MONSTER!

Children turn the tables on an impressive array of not-too-scary monsters in this interactive celebration of toddler empowerment imported from France.

Young readers show a big bad wolf, a toothy sea serpent, a furry four-eyed monster, a vampire, and a growling ogre who’s boss in this clever board book. Each four-page encounter begins, on verso, with the question, “If you are afraid of this [wolf/monster/etc.]…”; this is followed by the instruction to “…turn the page…” on recto. On the page to be turned is a die-cut pattern. Four rectangular cutouts that serve as tree trunks on recto prove to be the bars of a jail cell in which the wolf from the previous spread is imprisoned on verso, for example. The facing page exclaims, “You sent it to jail! Now lock the door with the key.” Similarly, an enormous “sea dragon” menaces a boat with a die-cut sail in one scene, but after a turn of the page, the dragon’s startled head peers out from under the lid of a simmering pot on a stovetop. “Good job! You put it in a pot! Now you can cook it with potatoes!” Cartoonishly rendered characters with big eyes, outsized jaws and teeth, and lots of personality provide the perfect blend of ferocity and silliness. Bright colors and the clever cutout gimmicks add visual appeal.

A comforting lesson for kids that the things that we fear are only as large or small as we make them. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-72820-945-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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