Dragons Get Colds Too, by Rebecca Roan/Illustrated by Charles Santoso, (Feb. 2019, Bloomsbury Children), $17.99, ISBN: 9781681190440
A little girl’s dragon catches a cold, so, as any good dragon parent would do, she seeks help from a book, where a doctor explains the steps in how to cure your dragon. Each spread has featured steps in the process of caring for one’s sick dragon, and the visual gags that illustrate, in hilarious detail, the girl taking the book’s advice. For instance, when determining if your dragon has a cold, be careful and do NOT use tissues. They’re flammable, after all; that said, since dragons don’t wear sleeves, you should keep an extra shirt handy since, “dragon snot tends to be rather gooey”. The girl sits on her dragon, in mid-sneeze, with clothing flying around as it shoots gooey, green boogers all over the page.
The dialogue is written out as a medical manual: the “steps”, plus additional notes with “facts” and “tips”, all of which serve as an amusing foil to the illustrations, where the girl cares for her picky, moody, sick buddy. Any parent who’s read a medical manual knows that theory versus practice are two very, very different things; something our protagonist discovers along the way. The bright artwork and upbeat illustrations are great fun, and the endpapers extend the story all the way through: the beginning endpapers and title page show the dragon frolicking with his friend, then laying down, looking under the weather. At the book’s close, the dragon is flying high again, feeling great… until the closing endpapers, when we see the girl sneeze. The cartoony The doctor featured in the medical manual is a woman of color, and the girl treating her dragon is white.
Dragons Get Colds Too is adorable fun. It can pair with Adam Rubin’s Dragons Love Tacos for kids who love silly dragons, and it can be part of a sick day readaloud with Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too, by Katy Duffield, and Philip C. Stead’s classic, A Sick Day for Amos McGee.
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