A whimsical introduction to one of the most unconventional architects of the 20th century.

A DRAGON ON THE ROOF

A CHILDREN'S BOOK INSPIRED BY ANTONI GAUDÍ

A quirky story of a girl and a dragon inspired by the equally quirky Casa Batlló, designed by the celebrated architect Antoni Gaudí.

As her nanny sleeps, Paloma hears a sound at the window. Upon her opening it, a frightened bat flies in. It is fleeing something, and that something is now on the stairs. Unafraid, Paloma seeks it out. Eventually catching up to the creature—now identified as a dragon—Paloma tickles it between its scales, causing the dragon to explode in laughter and so “unleashing the sea and all its waves, tuna, crabs, cuttlefish and seaweed!” Having unwittingly swallowed all this during a previous yawn, the dragon is sorry to have caused a flood in her house and now just asks for a place to sleep. He curls himself up on the roof, “closes its eyes and falls asleep.” Paloma returns to the room where her nanny is waking up, unaware there is a dragon on the roof. As the adventure takes place, the illustrations portray columns in the shape of bones, a staircase like a winding spine, and tile work resembling an oceanscape. Should children believe the house is the product of the illustrator’s imagination, photographs of the real Casa Batlló in Barcelona show that the house does exist and that a dragon sleeps on its roof.

A whimsical introduction to one of the most unconventional architects of the 20th century. (further information, interview with author and illustrator) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-3-7913-7391-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Prestel

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A surprisingly nuanced lesson set in confidence-building, easy-to-decode text.

BO'S MAGICAL NEW FRIEND

From the Unicorn Diaries series , Vol. 1

A unicorn learns a friendship lesson in this chapter-book series opener.

Unicorn Bo has friends but longs for a “bestie.” Luckily, a new unicorn pops into existence (literally: Unicorns appear on especially starry nights) and joins Bo at the Sparklegrove School for Unicorns, where they study things like unicorn magic. Each unicorn has a special power; Bo’s is granting wishes. Not knowing what his own might be distresses new unicorn Sunny. When the week’s assignment is to earn a patch by using their unicorn powers to help someone, Bo hopes Sunny will wish to know Bo's power (enabling both unicorns to complete the task, and besides, Bo enjoys Sunny’s company and wants to help him). But when the words come out wrong, Sunny thinks Bo was feigning friendship to get to grant a wish and earn a patch, setting up a fairly sophisticated conflict. Bo makes things up to Sunny, and then—with the unicorns friends again and no longer trying to force their powers—arising circumstances enable them to earn their patches. The cheerful illustrations feature a sherbet palette, using patterns for texture; on busy pages with background colors similar to the characters’ color schemes, this combines with the absence of outlines to make discerning some individual characters a challenge. The format, familiar to readers of Elliott’s Owl Diaries series, uses large print and speech bubbles to keep pages to a manageable amount of text.

A surprisingly nuanced lesson set in confidence-building, easy-to-decode text. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-32332-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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