Two children use pets, toys, and props to create an imaginary world of endless scope and possibilities.
“Once upon a time,” a brown-skinned girl with puffy hair is playing happily in a crystal castle (pillow fort) with her (stuffed) animal friends, when…“dun dun DUH!” A dragon comes (a pet terrier), accompanied by a pale-skinned boy wearing magician’s clothing. The dragon breathes fire and destroys the girl’s castle. But—“Ta-Da!”—the girl uses her wand to “turn the dragon into a kind dragon,” and off they fly together. But then (“dun dun DUH!”) the boy becomes a pirate and takes the girl and the dragon prisoners. Then the girl escapes and takes “an island vacation.” The boy’s “dun dun DUH!” plot twists and the girl’s “Ta-Da!” solutions alternate (as does the typeface) until the boy walks away, disappointed. After living happily for a while with her dragon, the girl goes to check on the boy, who has become a magician ready to put on a show. She helps him by providing an audience of stuffed animals and joining the show, then they run to the kitchen for a snack (“Ta-Da!”), continuing to imagine treasures and underwater adventures together. The bold, expressive illustrations blend the children’s real world with their imaginary worlds, creating a lively display on the page.
The only thing better than reading about this full day of play is having one in real life. (Picture book. 3-8)