An unusual creature finds a rewarding career in theater in this multiple-scenario story.
A small dragon (it looks like a combination of a lizard and a pot-bellied rat) lives in a tree. But when the dragon is disturbed, it flies into the stratosphere, then comes back down to Earth, landing in one of three places chosen by readers: Hollywood, Loch Ness, or Yangshuo, China. Regardless of where it lands, the dragon becomes the star of a play, bringing the story back to the beginning, when a storyteller narrating the app introduces the reptilian stage star. It's perhaps one or two degrees too much narrative jumping around for what's at heart the simple story of a solitary specimen finding love and acceptance. The app's hand-drawn art seems intentionally crude, but it is animated in sophisticated ways, as on pages where the reader can guide the lighting of a stage light. The text, translated from Spanish, is clean if unremarkable. The fact that the dragon lacks a name becomes problematic when a second dragon is introduced to the story. Somehow, though, the animation, simple illustrative style, and unobtrusive narration and music pull together to create something distinctive and winning: It has a style that is refreshingly scruffy compared to other slick offerings in the App Store.
For young readers who can't get enough of dragon stories, this is one they're likely to remember. (iPad storybook app. 4-9)