Foolish prejudice and Little Rascals–type antics come to an inevitable conclusion in Pippin-Mathur’s fantasy realm of dragons and princesses.
A dragon is fierce. He lives in a land that is full of rocks and dark with the smoke of frighteningly fiery breath—in a word, wonderful. That is until two princesses—one pale-skinned, the other brown-skinned, and both festooned in tutus and ruffles—invade and begin to change everything. Craggy rocks are covered in flowers, flaming burps are replaced with finery and tea parties, and his fellow dragons are taken by the cuteness and pastels. Desperate to oust the interlopers, the dragon turns to his longtime enemy, a pale-skinned knight, to rid his kingdom of the princesses. But when the knight uses the opportunity to ensnare all the other dragons at once, it is the princesses who come to the rescue, terrifying the knight with an incendiary burp. Seeing the princesses in a new light, the dragon finally embraces their presence and the changes they’ve brought. Awash in pastels, the illustrations offer bright, dynamic spreads that smoothly employ varying perspectives and pace the momentum of the page turns. With its unimaginative gender opposition, however, the narrative unfortunately fails to match the illustrations’ draw for readers—especially for those who already don’t find ferocity and flowers to be mutually exclusive.
Fun and energy staled by tired tropes. (Picture book. 3-7)