It takes a village of curious children to cheer up a sad dragon.
Three children find Martin, a big green dragon with drooping yellow wings, at the bottom of a hill one day. He longs to fly, but he explains that his wings are too small. Just then, a bumblebee buzzes by. Martin figures that stripes must be the key to flying, so he paints himself some sloppy stripes and leaps into the air. Luckily, the children are there to help him when he takes a fall. Martin notices the floating leaves and tries perching in a tree...until the law of gravity intervenes. The same unhappy result occurs when he tries to wrap himself in dandelion fluff in order to behave like a cloud. Martin is at his lowest point ever, but the children come up with an idea: “You just have to believe.” Inexplicably (if sensibly) modeling exercise rather than sheer faith, they run and flap their arms, sometimes holding colorful leaves, and Martin follows. Day after day they practice, and Martin's wings become stronger and stronger. (He rides a tricycle to go faster.) His wings become big and beautiful, and one day, he goes up but doesn't come down. He can fly with a little help from his friends.
Bowles’ visual message is strong, but it’s too bad she relies on bromides in her prose. (Picture book. 4-7)