A little girl with a sick dragon uses a guidebook to nurse it back to health.
A human woman in stereotypical doctor garb doles out expert advice via a Dr. Spock–like manual. She nurses her own ill dragon, an orange one with yellow ridges down its back and gray wings, as an example. But the child reading the guidebook finds that the advice is a bit off, and her tweaks and real-life experience are juxtaposed, hers on white-backgrounded pages, the expert’s on colored ones. Step 1 is to definitively diagnose your dragon with a cold. While the pages that follow don’t directly reflect that process, they are humorous nonetheless: A “Fact” box explains that dragons need alternatives to tissues (too likely to ignite). A companion “Tip” is to have extras of your own clothing about, as dragons don’t wear sleeves. The tongue-in-cheek digital illustrations belie the easygoing tone of these notes (taped to the pages) and show the girl struggling with a disgustingly snotty dragon (green with orange ridges and dark green wings). Indeed, adult readers are sure to see some parallels here, especially if there are any sick toddlers in the house, and will chuckle along, though younger readers may miss the understated humor entirely depending upon their maturity level (challenging vocabulary may require an extra assist from grown-ups: “distraction,” “harsh critics,” “adequately,” “amusement,” etc.). The protagonist presents white and the doctor-author presents black.
Humorous, but it doesn’t fill the bill for distracting little listeners from their own colds. (Picture book. 5-8)