A fun, goofy bedtime—or anytime—story.

WHERE IS THE DRAGON?

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. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

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 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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Readers will laugh all the way up the mountain and down as the goblin searches for and finds a very unmysterious yeti.

YETIS ARE THE WORST!

If you’ve ever wanted to talk with a friendly goblin or meet a yeti, here’s your chance.

Gilbert, a blue-green goblin with huge eyes and ears, whispers to readers on the title page, then engages them in a discussion about how mysterious goblins are (they “pop up in unexpected places,” “lurk in the shadows,” and “are masters of disguise”) and how unmysterious yetis are. To prove the point, Gilbert is determined to find and photograph a yeti. Gilbert plows through the snow, snapping pictures of “yetis” that turn out to be shrubbery, an ice carving, and even a “snowboarding unicorn in a puffy coat.” These illustrations are giggleworthy, but they also share a secret with readers. Gilbert is totally unaware of actual yetis quietly gathering to watch. Frustrated, Gilbert screams, triggering an avalanche. Thanks to a sign in one of the illustrations, readers know before Gilbert that the avalanche is whisking the protagonist toward a secret yeti hideout. With a gulp, Gilbert lands in the hideout, but after many goblin-yeti photos, Gilbert confirms that “yetis aren’t so mysterious. They are just a little shy…until they’re not.” Gilbert's large eyes and open face reveal a range of emotions, and small details help individualize the yetis. Gilbert's running conversation with readers, presented in speech bubbles, is engaging; repeat readings will also reveal humorous details in the artwork. With some pages divided into panels, this one has the feel of a graphic novel. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Readers will laugh all the way up the mountain and down as the goblin searches for and finds a very unmysterious yeti. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-177-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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