Dragons Are the Worst! (Alex Willan)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Dragons Are the Worst! by Alex Willan, the hilarious follow-up to the author/illustrator’s previous tale, Unicorns Are the Worst!

The diminutive goblin narrator from Unicorns is back, this time with a new complaint: dragons. Namely, that everyone thinks they are SO scary and intimidating! Sure, they are huge and they can breathe fire and they sometimes trap royalty at the top of tall towers, but Goblin just doesn’t see the big deal. He could be very scary and intimidating if he WANTED to! He knows lots of scary spells, and has a positively terrifying pigeon costume! And when the goblin encounters a band of knights on a dragon-hunt, he sets out to prove just how scary he can be – with surprising results!

Uproarious fun. There are only a few children’s books that can tickle both JJ’s and my funny bones, but this one absolutely had us in stitches. The clever narration and dialogue, along with the fantastically funny illustrations, made for a reading experience that introduced new laughs with every flip of the page. A sequence in which the goblin is shown fleeing from increasingly docile-looking dragons (including a stuffed animal) had us screaming. The only disappointment was the final resolution, which boiled down to an extended poop joke; JJ was highly amused, I was less so, but poop humor can be pretty subjective. However, for the most part, this was such a delightfully entertaining read that we would encourage readers of any age to give it a try – perfect length for a storytime, it was a hoot to read aloud, and JJ and I had a blast. Overall, Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Unicorns Are The Worst! (Alex Willan)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Unicorns Are The Worst! by Alex Willan, a hilarious tale of mistaken impressions and the importance of overcoming them.

Life has simply been disastrous for the unnamed goblin narrator since the meadow next door was taken over by – ugh – unicorns. All their prancing and glitter and harp music is utterly unbearable to the serious and studious goblin, who prefers to spent his days quietly studying spells and sorting ingredients. And don’t get him started on the tea parties, the ones they never even INVITE him to – not that he’d want to go anyway! Yet when goblin finds himself in a jam, he might be surprised how useful those silly unicorn traits can be… and why he should know not to judge a book by its cover.

Adorable, funny, and with a great message. Goblin certainly seems to have it out for the mostly-innocuous unicorns, but his tirades begin to show the true motivation behind his ire: he feels left out and doesn’t know how to connect with his new neighbors. When the unicorns use their prancing and glitter to defend the goblin from a dragon attack, he realizes that their seemingly frivolous hobbies have value, just as his magical studies do. It’s a nice way to show that there is value in our differences, and that we shouldn’t judge the interests of others simply because they don’t align with our own. The illustrations are delightful, using bright colors and sparkles (naturally) to show a visual contrast between the carefree unicorns and the more drab and staid goblin, and creating tension and comedy with dramatic angles and visual gags. The length is perfect for a storytime, I loved reading the expressive and conversational dialogue aloud, and JJ was tickled pink by the humor. This one is a treat – a throughly entertaining title with a solid lesson, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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