Have you ever thought about bringing your dragon to the library? Don’t do it!
In rhyming couplets, a bunch of kids bring their individual dragons (six in all) to the library, and unsurprisingly, they break all the behavior rules. “Maybe you’re thinking, 'Don’t worry, it’s fine. / There’s plenty of space in that library of mine.' / Perhaps that’s true, but he’s sure to roam. / Then you’ll be wishing you had left him at home.” A double-page spread here shows a big, blue dragon with droopy ears nosing around the bookcases, while in the following spread, he’s pushing them over as he tries to fit between them, visually underscoring the refrain: “So do not bring your dragon to the library!” The vibrantly colored illustrations overflow the pages, use aerial perspectives, and accentuate the size of the dragons. It’s a clever approach to proper library do’s and don’ts. Kudos for including a kid in a wheelchair in the thoughtfully diverse cast, but jeers for the stereotypical demiglasses, bun, and drab clothing worn by the black librarian. The dragons are as colorful as the characters are multiracial, appearing in shades of vivid purple, blue, green, and orange polka dots. The text struggles with scansion and rhythm, but the energy of the illustrations helps to mitigate its flaws.
This cautionary tale set in a library with dragon patrons is worth circulating. (Picture book. 4-7)