The Little Dragon (Sheri Fink)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Little Dragon, written by Sheri Fink and illustrated by Lynx Studios, a tale about embarrassment and acceptance.

There once was a little dragon who lived happily and peacefully in a beautiful meadow, one filled with flowers and his cozy cave and starlit skies. One of Dragon’s favorite things to do in his meadow was to dance, and he would do so joyfully whenever he had the opportunity… until one day, he realizes that someone is watching. He sees movement and hears giggling in the shadows of the tree line, and is immediately overcome with an emotion he’s never felt before. He feels a hot rumble rolls up from his belly through his face and chest, and he feels angry and hurt. This results in a tantrum that causes him to nearly destroy one of his beloved meadow’s trees! Determined to never let this happen again, he decides to take action: he will find out who the giggler was, and make sure they never return to his peaceful place. Learning from the meadow’s birds that it was a dragon, he decides that dragons are not welcome in his meadow (not realizing that he, himself, is a dragon). But when the giggling dragon reappears, how will he handle his temper?

Ambitious yet uneven. There are some truly great moments, like the fantastic kid-language description of embarrassment that feels utterly universal, and the message that we should not push others away or exclude them based on awkward first impressions. The giggler turns out to be another dragon, and after a clever exchange in which she explains that Little Dragon is a dragon too, he sees that she is friendly, and he invites her to dance along. It’s a sweet ending, but it left me wanting a little more, especially after the fantastic set-up about self-consciousness. I wish that Dragon’s emotions and his overcoming them had gotten a more definitive resolution. However, this is still a very nice story, and it’s accompanied by gentle, colorful illustrations that younger readers will love. The length is fine, and JJ enjoyed it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

The Littlest Dragon (Jessica Minyard)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Littlest Dragon by Jessica Minyard, a delightful indie tale of finding one’s courage.

In a distant sea, on the Island of Bones, there lives a tiny dragon named Bimnid. And on an island of great dragons, Bimnid can’t help but feel unimportant. He’s not the biggest, or the most beautiful, or the strongest. He doesn’t have the loudest roar, nor can he breathe plumes of smoke and flame. In fact, Bimnid doesn’t seem to be the “-est” anything… except the small-est. That is, until a ship full of fearsome dragon hunters is spotted on the horizon, and the dragons are thrown into a tizzy about what to do. Will Bimnid hide like the other dragons want to? Or will he find that he is the very best at something after all?

Very sweet. The structure of the story is fairly familiar: a previously unassuming character finds their courage in a moment of truth – Bimnid takes the initiative to march down to the dragon hunters and tell them off; they, not speaking dragon language and never having seen a dragon before, take in his comparatively towering size, growls, and hisses, and make a quick getaway. It’s a nice moment that proves one does not have to be the biggest, strongest, or loudest to be the bravest. The sentence structure in the text and the illustrations are slightly more uneven, though the incredibly creative character design of the different dragons is worthy of applause. The length is fine, and JJ liked this one a lot. A bit rough around the edges, but this dragon tale is definitely worth a look – Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

I Will Not Eat You (Adam Lehrhaupt & Scott Magoon)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt and Scott Magoon, a suspenseful story of a cave-dwelling monster with an appetite.

Theodore lives in a deep, dark cave, and spends his days staring out at the world with his glowing yellow eyes. As he watches the creatures of his forest pass by the mouth of the cave, he considers each noisy animal as a potential meal, ultimately deciding that he is not hungry enough to eat any of them – yet (the animals, for their part, are quite rude about it – instead of thanking Theodore for sparing them, they keep running away in fright!). At last, a bold little creature approaches – a boy with a wooden sword approaches the cave, lets out a might roar, and then has the audacity to POKE Theodore on the nose. Well, obviously, this will be the meal for Theodore, but as he chases the boy through the forest to devour him, a rather unexpected thing happens. Suddenly, Theodore realizes that he may have found more than just a meal…

So I’ll be honest, I had mixed feelings on this one. The first reading with JJ went okay: the art is dark and gorgeous yet full of humor, and the length is fine, but the twist and the ending were a little abrupt for us. However, after a second flip-through, the deadpan humor grew on me, and I noticed a clever lesson in learning to laugh at the things that frighten you, as well as to open yourself up to new friendships that may take you out of your comfort zone (or cave, as the case may be). However, there is still one thing that nags at me: little boy, WHY WOULD YOU POKE THAT DRAGON?! I get that he was trying to get the dragon to play, but it seemed like a rather poor decision on his part (when faced with danger, maybe don’t poke it). Otherwise, it was a darkly humorous story that JJ and I enjoyed, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Dragon Was Terrible (Kelly DiPucchio)

Hello, everyone! Our book today is Dragon Was Terrible, written by the awesome Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli. This fun story is about a mean dragon, and the little boy who tames him in the most unexpected of ways!

There’s no getting around it: Dragon was terrible. Every day, he seemed to find new ways of being rude, mean and a bully to everyone around him. So the king advertises an award for the person who can tame Dragon, first to the brave knights (who fail miserably) and then to anyone who dares try (who also fail miserably). Still, there is one little boy who thinks he has the solution, though it’s a bit unusual: has anyone tried reading Dragon a story?

Kelly DiPucchio is one of our personal favorite authors, and she doesn’t disappoint with Dragon. The story is the perfect length, tons of fun, and has several fantastic messages to take away: the effectiveness of ingenuity over brute strength, and the power of books, patience and friendship. The illustrations are simply adorable and lots of fun, and JJ loved them. A fantastic and fun read to tame any terrible little dragon. Baby Bookworm approved!