Normally you don’t want to wake the dragon…
But even sleepy dragons need a little bit of prodding to open their eyes in the morning. An eager young knight and his faithful squire-puppy run around the bed, desperately tugging on blankets, dodging fiery yawns and heaving these great beasts off the mattress. Yolen is an expert on dinosaurs’ daily activities (How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, illustrated by Mark Teague, 2000, etc.) and can put monsters to bed (Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, 2011), but what about dragons? Starting simply, with only a few words per page: “Dragons wake up. // Dragons rise. // Dragons open / dragon eyes.” Yolen then plays with the scansion, but she keeps the energetic beat throughout. Some rhymes may cause eye-rolling at first (“syrup” and “cheer up,” for example) but in the end come across as quite charming. The drippy, syrupy waffles catapulted into the dragons’ mouths are too darn adorable to resist. Anderson’s bright acrylic illustrations round out the spare text with many added details and guffaws. Tooth brushing, breakfast and other cranky morning chores may have readers guessing that these dragons are off to school, but they have another very important reason for waking up.
Morning-routine stories abound, but for the very young this one bounces with exuberance. (Picture book. 2-4)