It takes a lot of love—and imagination—to raise a dragon.
Rabbit and Hedgehog enjoy a nice spring picnic on a hillside below their house, while two mice and a frog patiently sit nearby, waiting for crumbs. Suddenly, the rock that Rabbit is sitting on begins to rumble ominously. It's not an earthquake, it's an egg about to hatch. Out comes a baby dragon! The picnic's definitely over; Hedgehog and Rabbit take the tiny beast home. While he's small, the trio has a lot of fun, at tea parties, fairs and campouts and in the pumpkin patch. But as the little dragon begins to grow bigger and bigger, so do the problems of his adoptive parents in raising him. Dragon's appetite is enormous, and so is his body, literally busting out of Rabbit and Hedgehog's home at one point. There's only one thing to do. Working together, the three of them build a big castle, all gray stone with several red-roofed turrets, for them to live in. And their dragon ward shows his appreciation by breathing a sky full of fireworks into the air. Falkerstern's oils have depth and warmth, and, though her animals are anthropomorphized, they're closer in authenticity to nature photos than cartoons.Gentle country concoction, two parts Beatrix Potter and one part Cressida Cowell. (Picture book. 3-6)