Dragons are expected to be terrible (they are dragons, after all), but this particular dragon is horribly, unbelievably terrible. Among his many transgressions: stealing candy from baby unicorns, TP-ing the castle, and burping in church. The exasperated king offers an award (TBD, probably something nice), but all of his fiercest knights are humiliated in their efforts to rid the kingdom of the beast. The villagers take it upon themselves to open up the dragon-eliminating opportunity to everybody, but, again, no luck. Finally one young boy gathers together all of his determination . . . and sits down to read, nice and loud. At first the dragon feigns indifference, but inevitably is drawn into the story, and soon becomes a model member of the audience. This is a delightful selection for story hour. The witty, cartoonlike illustrations bring additional humor, and the outlined drawings are easily visible. The message that reading conquers all comes through loud and clear, and the engaging presentation will tame all listeners, not just dragons. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
There's a dragon in the kingdom, and he's a downright brat, pantsing palace guards, spitting on cupcakes, and even scribbling in books. As Dragon's behavior becomes increasing egregious—he burps in church and chases after fuzzy yellow ducklings—nobody can stop him until a clever boy comes along with a powerful tool: a gripping storybook (featuring a brave dragon and a "terrible knight," naturally). In naive, flattened cartons, Pizzoli (Templeton Gets His Wish) mixes modern and medieval with aplomb as Dragon TP's a castle and spray paints "Dragon was here" on a wall underneath a posted notice from the king promising a reward to whomever stops Dragon ("It shall be a nice gift. Ye shall like it"). These pictures, combined with DiPucchio's (Everyone Loves Bacon) clearly disapproving narrator ("Honestly, that's terrible and rude," she sniffs during the church burp scene) make Dragon's transgressions all the funnier. The only downside may be the ending, which—though happy in a fairy tale sense—makes the taming of the wonderfully incorrigible antagonist feel a little, well, tame. Ages 4–7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)
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