Nathaniel and his friends Fred and Molly, the eponymous Dragons From Mars (2016), are back, this time attending school on Earth.
Molly and Fred aren’t too sure about going to human school, but Nathaniel assures them they’ll be treated like stars. Molly still worries, and her fears turn out to be well grounded even though they stem from something the dragons have no control over: their size. The school doors are a problem that some breath-holding and gut-sucking solve, but no one can reconstruct the chair that Fred smashes into pieces, and the kids start to tease him. Molly will have none of it. She quickly launches into a lecture of all the “remarkable stuff” dragons can do, and just like that, the children are friends instead of bullies: “We just didn’t know that you guys were so cool.” Aronson’s verses scan well enough, but there’s nothing inspired in them, and the rhymes are lackluster. While bright, Jack’s digital illustrations fail to make up for the text. Facial expressions are a particular weakness, with the dragons often appearing vacuous. Nathaniel is a white redhead; his classmates are diverse.
Another bullying book that resolves with the bullies’ targets proving their usefulness. Skip.(Picture book. 4-8)