Tacos are high on the list of dragon-friendly foods. Who knew? There is, however, a major qualification: the salsa must be mild ("even a speck of hot pepper makes a dragon snort sparks"). Rubin and Salmieri, the creators of Those Darn Squirrels! (2008), offer up a how-to guide to throwing one heck of a dragons' taco party. First, you'll need tacos—"pantloads of tacos"—and mild salsa, of course. Then, throw in a few decorations (taco-shaped balloons will work) and some music and—voilà. Unfortunately, in this tale, someone didn't read the fine print on the Totally Mild Salsa jar, and the hosts are in for a toasty surprise. The slight story meanders a bit, but the humor is helped along by Salmieri's cartoonish watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations, which extend the text through small details, from an "I Love Tacos" T-shirt to a No Spicy Salsa: A Guide to Dragon Cuisine cookbook. The whole thing is over-the-top ridiculousness, and kids will most likely warm to it for that very reason. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Rubin and Salmieri (Those Darn Squirrels!) are two of the weirdest, funniest guys working in kids' lit today. The team lets its geek flag fly in an obsessive how-to guide for would-be dragon taco party hosts. Why a taco party? As Rubin explains, "The only things dragons love more than parties or tacos, is taco parties." If further proof is required, Salmieri—whose poker-faced watercolor, gouache, and color pencil drawings set a benchmark for oddball observational humor—shows one odd, scaly creature with a carryout bag from "Taco Cave" and another beaming with anticipation as it eagerly circles the date for a taco party on its taco-themed calendar. But beware: even if all the tips and rules are followed to the letter (on quantity: "The best way to judge is to get a boat and fill the boat with tacos"), all will be for naught if spicy salsa makes its way into the taco filling. In fact, the dragons will bring a whole new meaning to "housewarming." Off-kilter fun for those who like their picture books (and salsa) zesty and fresh. Ages 3–5. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (June)
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