A little girl has an unusual pen pal—a Komodo dragon. As they exchange letters, she learns about this endangered species and is spurred to action.
In a series of amiable and funny letters, Leslie, a dark-haired girl with olive skin, and Komo, a Komodo dragon living on Komodo Island, share personal information as any two human pen pals would. “Komodo dragons are the biggest and heaviest lizards,” writes Komo. He reveals that his tail is half his body length. It propels him through water and can be used as a weapon. They compare family life: Komo has 19 siblings and lived in a tree for the first four years of his life. Komo also answers Les’ burning question, “Do Komodo dragons spit fire?” Komodo dragons don’t, but their spit contains bacteria and venom that can poison its prey. Through their correspondence, Les (and readers) gets to know Komo better and wants to help protect his species. Using colored pencils in warm tones, Klein, an experienced nature illustrator/artist, accurately details the textures, patterns, shades, and shapes of the natural world. Backmatter offers fun facts about Komodo dragons and concrete suggestions on how to help save them from extinction. Querido Dragón Komodo presents the correspondence in Spanish.
Peppered with childlike humor and told from a kid’s perspective, this book is both enjoyable and informative for budding wildlife conservationists. (Informational picture book. 4-8)