Brill’s tale tips the didactic scale, but the importance of rules needs to reach dragon-loving kids as well.

A tiny dragon wants to fly—and picks up important life lessons as well.

Little Wing is determined. Today will be the day to finally fly! But with wings fluttering and tiny legs pumping, it always ends the same way: “Flip. / Flap. / Flop….” Jumping from the top step? “Flip. / Flap. / Flop….” What about running down a hill for extra speed? “Flip. / Flap. / Flop….” But a dragon never gives up. Suddenly, at the most unexpected moment, Little Wing is “Flip! / Flap! / FLYING!” Little Wing’s mama is proud, but she needs to impart three very important flying rules. Little Wing, however, is too excited to listen. The little tot flies too high (the opposite of the first rule), flies too far (the second), and flies off without Mama (the third). The tiny dragon is now in a dark forest, all alone. Bravado gone, and lip quivering, Little Wing is “Flip. / Flap. / Frightened!” Luckily, Mama is not far behind. Told in first person (first dragon?), Little Wing’s journey from frustration to egocentric bluster to fear seems a bit linear and quick but is true to a toddler’s sensibilities. Bell’s digital illustrations (combining pencils, watercolors, and Photoshop) depict a bigheaded red dragonlet with tiny purple wings; Little Wing looks the opposite of aerodynamic, but that’s part of the charm.

Brill’s tale tips the didactic scale, but the importance of rules needs to reach dragon-loving kids as well. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 14, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-236033-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2016

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From the Dragons Love Tacos series

A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

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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 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012



Mythical-creature aficionados won’t be able to resist.

A cheery nighttime routine.

The duo behind Unicorn Day (2019) tackles the next logical question: What do unicorns do at night? After nonstop rainbow-sliding, cupcake-eating, and, of course, twirling, drowsy unicorns wind down. They don’t brush their teeth, but they do need to shine their horns before bed. They also “brush their manes, / as soft as silk, / and have a sip / of moonbeam milk.” Bedtime stories are shared and cloud pillows are fluffed as eyelids slowly close. But wait! The unicorns startle awake. They forgot to sing their song! Unlike the energetic previous outing, which promotes fun, fun, fun, this lullaby is filled with moonlight, fairies, and lulling sounds. “Neigh, neigh, neigh, played all day, / time to sleep the night away!” The music drifts down to the forest floor, soothing all the woodland creatures as they prepare for bed too. Flowers employs deep purples and blues for a dusk setting, but the unicorns’ blankets, sleep masks, hair, and horns are all still bright and colorful, keeping the joviality intact. Eagle-eyed readers will spot the tiny, purple dragon hiding on most pages. This bedtime book doesn’t bring much new to the genre, except…unicorns!

Mythical-creature aficionados won’t be able to resist. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72822-298-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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