Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

AH-CHOO! Dragons Get Colds, Too!

Dragons Get Colds Too, by Rebecca Roan/Illustrated by Charles Santoso, (Feb. 2019, Bloomsbury Children), $17.99, ISBN: 9781681190440

Ages 3-6

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.

Posted in Preschool Reads

Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too! Get the lunar decongestants!

Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too!, by Katy S. Duffield//Illustrated by KG Campbell, (Nov. 2017, Candlewick), $16.99, ISBN: 978-0-7636-6502-9

Recommended for readers 3-7

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the trailer for the adorable picture book, Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too! Now that the book’s available, I can finally talk about it! Poor little Alien feels just awful! his two throats are scratchy, his five ears hurt, and he’s got three runny noses! Mama and Daddy Alien try all the different remedies, from Milky Way milkshakes to the dreaded lunar decongestants, but nothing works. Poor Mars Rover, Alien’s best buddy and loyal pet, feels awful seeing his friend so sick – and sometimes, a good friend is the cure for what ails you.

Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too! is great sick-day reading for little ones who feel just plain yucky. His sneezes, loaded with space terms (“AHHH-3-2-1-blastoff-CHOO!”), are powerful and shoot his friend across the room, scaring the poor parents. The story captures the pure misery of a cold, and the lengths we parents go to in order to try and make things better (even if they may make our kids feel worse while we’re trying). KG Campbell’s pen, watercolor, and colored pencil artwork presents readers with the cutest aliens, with giant, expressive eyes and calming pastel colors. Loyal Mars Rover is a three-eyed golden mutt whose attention is focused on his companion.

Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too! is a good add to picture book collections – we can never have enough sick day books! Recommend this one, along with favorites like Jane Yolen’s How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? And Philip Stead’s A Sick Day for Amos McGee, to caregivers who have a snuffly one at home.

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Intermediate

Ella and Owen: Dragon sibling adventures

Ella and Owen: The Cave of AAAAAH! DOOM! (Ella and Owen #1), by Jaden Kent, (March 2017, little bee books), $16.99, ISBN: 978-1499803938

Recommended for ages 6-9

The first book in a fun intermediate series, dragon siblings Ella and Owen have two very different personalities. In their first adventure, bookish Owen is perfectly happy to be home in bed with a book, nursing a cold. More adventurous Ella has different plans: cave exploring! She lures Owen by promising him that there’s a chance to get ogre toenails for his collection. They explore some caves, tangle with an ogre and an evil vegetable wizard, and quite possibly, find a cure for Owen’s cold.

Kids in my library are warming up to this series. If you have Dragonbreath fans, introduce them to Ella and Owen. It’s silly, boogery fun, with black and white illustrations throughout. the second book in the series, Attack of the Stinky Fish Monster, is already available; the third (Knights vs Dragons) is out in May, and the fourth (Evil Pumpkin Pie Fight) is out in July.