Two pen pals get to know each other over several months, and when they meet, each discovers that the other is a little different than imagined.
Two classes in different schools are assigned a poetry and pen-pal project in which the members exchange letters, and all the letters must be in rhyme. But from the very beginning, readers know something the pen pals don’t: George Slair is a young boy of color, while Blaise Dragomir is a young green dragon. The pair establish a quick bond, but whether due to the constriction of rhyme or the brevity of their letters, George and Blaise are a little vague in their descriptions, allowing each to imagine the other is a boy or dragon similar to himself. When Blaise declares his favorite sport is sky diving, George pictures a boy fearlessly gliding under a parachute; when George says his towering volcano won the science fair, Blaise envisions a dragonet circling the mouth of an actual volcano. Epistolary anticipation builds for pen pals and readers alike until boy and dragon finally come face to face, and each is thrilled to discover that his new friend is even cooler than he imagined. Montalvo’s visual irony skillfully paces alongside Funk’s gamboling rhymes, rendering readers’ investigations of each spread just as rewarding as the page turns.
A playful celebration of difference (and poetry). (Picture book. 3-8)