Gravett, that master of the metafictive die cut, returns for a savvy bedtime satire.
It’s time for this little green dragon’s bedtime story. Clutching a blankie, it snuggles up to its parent dragon for the story of fierce Cedric the red dragon, who wreaks havoc every night. “Again?” pleads the little dragon, holding up the red, clothbound storybook (readers who remove the paper jacket will see that it’s exactly the book that they are holding). The patient parent reads it again, with a little editorial revision: “At nighttime when Cedric SHOULD be asleep….” And again: “Cedric the dragon’s a big sleepyhead. / He’s decided it’s time / HE WAS REALLY IN BED.” With each iteration, the storybook’s illustration changes, and Cedric transforms from a fire-breathing terror to a princess-kissing softie. At the fourth, parent dragon conks out, the ZZZs from its snoring mingling with the few letters on the storybook’s page. Enraged, the little green dragon begins to turn red, shouting, “AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!” Fully red after several futile repetitions, it puts some firepower behind its final “AGAIN,” burning a hole through the last page and back cover. The storybook characters escape, luckily (and, though unseen, so does parent dragon, human parents will no doubt note).
This little bit of bedtime foolery feels a little incomplete, but it should strike a chord—and it’s far wittier than the similarly themed Go the Fuck to Sleep. (Picture book. 3-6)