Slay storytime (if not dragons) with this good knight book.


A bit of a mix-up results in an unlikely friendship.

The rhyming text opens the story on a young dragon named Dram who is sent out into the world to capture and eat his first “nibblesome knight.” The big-eyed, small, green dragon doesn’t appear frightening at all and looks downright vulnerable when he crash-lands in a pond after bad weather strikes during his flight to hunt down a knight. A knight who is a blond, white boy named James witnesses the little dragon’s fall, takes off his armor, and wades into the water to rescue Dram. He’s never seen a dragon before and thinks Dram must be a duck of some sort. For his part, Dram doesn’t recognize James as a knight and thinks he’s just “a lad.” Nurturing, empathetic James feeds and cares for Dram until he’s well enough to go off on his own. When the pair meet up again on the castle grounds, James is wearing his armor and wielding a sword, and they recognize each other’s true identities. There’s a brief moment of tension to make readers wonder if they will do battle or not, but the gentle tone of art and text alike propel the story toward its satisfying, happily-ever-after ending. The refrain of “dribblesome, nibblesome, knobble-kneed knights” will have listeners joining in with glee.

Slay storytime (if not dragons) with this good knight book. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-15020-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.


From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...


A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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