A dragon is on the loose in New York City, but rather than inciting terror, he provides an opportunity for a gentle quest and counting game. Light (Zephyr Takes Flight, 2012) takes readers on a tour of lower Manhattan with a little boy as he travels from spot to spot looking for his escaped pet. Hiding behind a potted plant and going nose-to-nose with a poodle, gobbling down a hot dog, or making his way through the water system, the dragon eludes the boy all the way from 1 dragon to 20 red lanterns in Chinatown. Drawn with a fountain pen, Light's distinctive illustrations have a bold, thick line and deep texture and are highlighted with dashes of color to help identify objects to count. His cityscapes capture the bustle of New York City, and children will have as much fun exploring the city as they do trying to spot the sneaky dragon hidden within. A rough map of the city serves as the book's endpapers, so little eyes can follow along. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Expressive line drawings fill the pages of this counting book, a love letter to the streets and sights of Manhattan. The boy who narrates is small figure with a round head, but his dragon is a magnificent creature that loops its elaborately scaled body and sinuous neck around and through New York's architectural landmarks, always just out of the boy's field of vision. On each page, everyday city objects are picked out in one color on the otherwise black-and-white pages ("11 manhole covers"; "12 pigeons"). Vehicles, street food, and even under-the-street wiring get attention as the boy searches on. Readers can spot the dragon sailing the river like the Loch Ness monster ("It's possible he went for a swim") or posing fountainlike in the middle of the zoo's monkey cage. One neighborhood in Lower Manhattan lends itself especially well to dragon habitat; there the boy's search ends. Light's (Zephyr Takes Flight) creation will appeal to Manhattanites and those outside the borough alike. Details missed the first time through the book will bring readers back for more. Ages 2–5. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Apr.)
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