Kirkus Reviews QR Code
YOU’VE GOT DRAGONS by Kathryn Cave


by Kathryn Cave & illustrated by Nick Maland

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-56145-284-X
Publisher: Peachtree

Toothy but disarmingly tubby dragons stand in for childhood worries in this light-toned bit of therapy. “Your heart thuds and your knees wobble and your hands shake and your head whirls . . . you can’t believe it’s really happening to you. But it is. It really is. You’ve got dragons.” What does that mean? Aside from a reference to math-test anxiety, Cave declines to provide examples. She does offer some comfort—you don’t get them because you’ve been bad; everyone else has them too—and suggests that the best way to deal with them is to confront them, and to try to see them in perspective. Maland depicts huge but non-menacing monsters with Wild Thing smiles, who follow a carrot-topped lad as he searches for coping strategies, then vanish, at least temporarily, at the end. Reassuring? Yes, though the idea that children are capable of dealing with their problems alone begs “dragons” caused by circumstances outside a child’s control. Paradoxically, young readers will likely derive more benefit from this if an adult is on hand to share, interpret, and discuss. (Picture book. 6-9)