Snoozy with a touch of sparkle and magic.

A mythical beast helps send little ones to sleep.

“Your head is all busy, / your legs are all twitchy, / your brain won’t stop buzzing, / your blanket is itchy.” A young tot with pale skin and a mop of red hair is having trouble falling asleep. But not to fear, the Yawnincorn is here! “He’s made up of starshine and magic and light— / he’ll help find a dreamland / for you that’s just right.” A bright white unicorn swoops in the window on a trail of sparkles. The youngster grabs his hoof, and they soar into the night. The Yawnicorn takes children to whatever imaginary landscape they can dream up. Whether it’s sitting on puffy clouds and sliding down rainbows (standard unicorn fare that of course needed to be included), having a musical parade, exploring in the jungle, or diving deep under the sea with turtles and whales, anything is possible as long as you start to yawn once the adventure concludes. The lilting rhymes are soothing and relaxing, and the palette changes from bright pops of color to deep blues and purples as eyelids get heavier. Readers will hopefully stretch and yawn along as they snuggle in for the night. Move over, sheep: another hoofed animal is here to take over bedtime.

Snoozy with a touch of sparkle and magic. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9781547613113

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

Awards & Accolades


  • Readers Vote
  • 11

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


From the Dragons Love Tacos series

A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

Awards & Accolades


  • Readers Vote
  • 11

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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


Fans of the series will delight in seeing these favorites again, and Girl and Dragon should win some new ones.

A young girl and a dragon take their sweet friendship on an adventure.

After sharing the beginning and deepening of their friendship in Lovabye Dragon (2012) and Evermore Dragon (2015), Joosse puts this twosome on a journey to the high seas. Girl, forever sleeping in her same bed, dreams of sailing away. Dragon, snug in his lair, dreams of sailing with Girl. “Sometimes when friends share a heart / they dream the same thing, apart.” So they pack a wicker basket, a spyglass, and a banner and wave goodbye. The ocean provides plenty of interest with dolphins, whales, and Bad Hats with ratty beards (depicted as Vikings who differ only in the amount of their facial hair). There’s also a cat. The dreamy, highly textured oil pictures by Cecil in his signature palette of gentle grays, greens, and blues make the transition from land to sea seamlessly. With a tender nod to “The Owl and the Pussycat,” the scenery is full of diversions while the clever rhyming verse full of wordplay drifts the story farther from Home. The hazy images allow young minds to see this tiny princess with dark hair as racially ambiguous. As in many famous stories, one must leave home to find home, which is the same for these two loving friends. “With Dragon as boat / and Girl as crew / there was nothing—nothing—they couldn’t do!”

Fans of the series will delight in seeing these favorites again, and Girl and Dragon should win some new ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7313-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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