THERE'S A DRAGON IN MY TOILET

From the There's a Dragon in… series

Will Eric and Mini-Dragon Pan have to say goodbye?

Pan the Mini-Dragon is an excellent party planner; he proves it by planning a surprise anniversary party for Eric’s parents but then vanishes during the party. When Eric finds his little dragon buddy, Pan seems sad. The Encyclopedia Dragonica indicates Mini-Dragons need companionship—including that of their families. Eric and his human friends Min and Jayden discover that there is a way for Pan to contact his parents, but only adults know how to use the special codes that enable worldwide Mini-Dragon communication. Turns out they are just email addresses, and the group contacts Pan’s parents, who are none too pleased that Pan is staying with humans instead of his aunt and uncle, whom he is supposed to be visiting. A wet-suited Aunt Maria and Uncle Fernando show up via the toilet (hence the title) and demand that Pan join them in Mexico, where they will see to his education. Can Eric and his friends convince Pan’s parents that Pan is where he needs to be? Fans of Pan and Eric’s earlier adventures (There’s a Dragon in My Dinner! and There’s a Dragon in My Backpack!, both 2019) will enjoy this follow-up, which publishes simultaneously with the camping-trip adventure There’s a Dragon in My Boot! Eric and his family are white; Min is Chinese; Jayden is black. As part of the Americanization of these Scottish imports, the setting has been relocated to the States.

Further foolish fun. (Fantasy. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-181-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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A surprisingly nuanced lesson set in confidence-building, easy-to-decode text.

BO'S MAGICAL NEW FRIEND

From the Unicorn Diaries series , Vol. 1

A unicorn learns a friendship lesson in this chapter-book series opener.

Unicorn Bo has friends but longs for a “bestie.” Luckily, a new unicorn pops into existence (literally: Unicorns appear on especially starry nights) and joins Bo at the Sparklegrove School for Unicorns, where they study things like unicorn magic. Each unicorn has a special power; Bo’s is granting wishes. Not knowing what his own might be distresses new unicorn Sunny. When the week’s assignment is to earn a patch by using their unicorn powers to help someone, Bo hopes Sunny will wish to know Bo's power (enabling both unicorns to complete the task, and besides, Bo enjoys Sunny’s company and wants to help him). But when the words come out wrong, Sunny thinks Bo was feigning friendship to get to grant a wish and earn a patch, setting up a fairly sophisticated conflict. Bo makes things up to Sunny, and then—with the unicorns friends again and no longer trying to force their powers—arising circumstances enable them to earn their patches. The cheerful illustrations feature a sherbet palette, using patterns for texture; on busy pages with background colors similar to the characters’ color schemes, this combines with the absence of outlines to make discerning some individual characters a challenge. The format, familiar to readers of Elliott’s Owl Diaries series, uses large print and speech bubbles to keep pages to a manageable amount of text.

A surprisingly nuanced lesson set in confidence-building, easy-to-decode text. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-32332-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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In spite of the book’s flaws, dragons are very appealing, and tales for young audiences that model the scientific method are...

DRAGONS AND MARSHMALLOWS

From the Zoey and Sassafras series , Vol. 1

Zoey discovers that she can see magical creatures that might need her help.

That’s a good thing because her mother has been caring for the various beasts since childhood, but now she’s leaving on a business trip so the work will fall to Zoey. Most people (like Zoey’s father) can’t see the magical creatures, so Zoey, who appears in illustrations to be black, will have to experiment with their care by problem-solving using the scientific method to determine appropriate treatment and feeding. When a tiny, sick dragon shows up on her doorstep, she runs an experiment and determines that marshmallows appear to be the proper food. Unfortunately, she hadn’t done enough research beforehand to understand that although dragons might like marshmallows, they might not be the best food for a sick, fire-breathing baby. Although the incorporation of important STEM behaviors is a plus, the exposition is mildly clunky, with little character development and stilted dialogue. Many pages are dense with large-print text, related in Zoey’s not especially childlike voice. However, the inclusion in each chapter of a couple of attractive black-and-white illustrations of round-faced people and Zoey’s mischievous cat helps break up the narrative.

In spite of the book’s flaws, dragons are very appealing, and tales for young audiences that model the scientific method are nice to see. (Fantasy. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943147-08-3

Page Count: 96

Publisher: The Innovation Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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