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WHERE IS THE DRAGON?

A fun, goofy bedtime—or anytime—story.

The king is having dreadful dragon nightmares.

He orders his three knights to go out into the dark night to save his realm—and, more importantly, to save him. The knights with their armor, their huge noses protruding from feathered helmets, some dangerous-looking metal weapons, and a single candle to light their way, are willing, if not eager, to obey. But they are operating under a severe disadvantage. They’ve never seen a dragon, and the king has only given them a few vague ideas about what the creatures might possibly look like. The knights take turns recounting the king’s descriptions and searching the shadowy night. According to the king, dragons have thick, double-sided spikes. But wait; there is a dark shadow out there that looks just like that. With a candle to light the scene, they see a harmless bunch of long-eared rabbits sitting in a pile of carrots. And so it goes. All of Timmers’ shadowy shapes fit the various descriptions suggested by the king, but each one, when lit, is something entirely benign and delightfully silly. But that final shape, dismissed by the knights, just might be the real thing. The text is translated from the original Dutch in a lilting Suessian singsong, with wonderful, surprising rhymes, and little readers and their grown-ups will have a great time combining their voices and giggling through the proceedings. Knights and king all present White.

A fun, goofy bedtime—or anytime—story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-776573-11-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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HOW TO CATCH A MAMASAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series.

Another creature is on the loose.

The long-running series continues its successful formula with this Hallmark card of a book, which features bright illustrations and catchy rhymes. This time, the mythical creature the racially diverse children set out to catch is an absent mom who does it all (lists of descriptors include the words banker, caregiver, nurse, doctor, driver, chef, housekeeper, teacher, entertainer, playmate, laundry service, problem solver, handywoman, cleaner, and alarm clock) but doesn’t seem to have a job outside the home and is inexplicably a dinosaur. As the children prepare gifts and a meal for her, the text becomes an ode to the skills the Mamasaurus possesses (“Day or night she’s always there. / She meets every wish and need”) and values she instills (“Sometimes life can mean hard work,” “kindness matters,” and “what counts is doing your best”). This well-intentioned selection veers into cliche generously sprinkled with saccharine but manages to redeem itself with its appreciation for mothers and all that they may do. Endpapers include a “to” and “from” page framed in a heart, as well as a page where young gift givers or recipients can draw a picture of their Mamasaurus.

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

ISBN: 9781728274300

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2024

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DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

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The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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