It doesn’t matter whether or not they can be seen; there’s a little bit of dragon inside each of us. Here’s to dragon-taming.

WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN AGAIN

In this companion to When a Dragon Moves In (2011), it turns out that castles of any sort, not just sand, attract dragons, so the soon-to-be-born baby’s crib, with its crenellations and turrets at the corners, has an occupant even before mom gives birth.

The dragon and the boy start off doing their best to entertain the new baby, but their efforts are not always appreciated. The baby’s bottles are not toys, and no matter how it makes the baby giggle, mom and dad just don’t appreciate their son playing airplane in the house—and they’re not buying the boy’s explanation that the overturned plant is the dragon’s work, not his. The last straw is his father’s declaration that “we’ve had enough of this dragon business.” Well, the boy’s “had enough of this baby business!” Will the baby get sent back as the boy demands of his parents, or will the boy decide that maybe the baby’s not so bad after all? As in the previous title, the big question here is whether or not the dragon is imaginary. Regardless, the dragon is definitely the boy’s release—his way of engaging in naughty behavior and then blaming it on the dragon—when it’s tough to accept the new changes around the house that come with a baby. McWilliam’s pencil and digitally painted illustrations are wonderfully raucous and tongue-in-cheek, and his facial expressions are spot-on.

It doesn’t matter whether or not they can be seen; there’s a little bit of dragon inside each of us. Here’s to dragon-taming. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-9362613-5-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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A good choice for just those days when Mom and Dad do go away and leave their children in charge of Grandpa.

HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDPA

From the How To... series

Reagan’s second outing is a tongue-in-cheek reversal of roles as a young boy instructs readers on how best to entertain and care for a grandpa while Mom and Dad are away.

First, he instructs them to hide when Grandpa rings the doorbell—resist the wiggles and giggles, and only pop out when he gives up. Then, reassure him that Mom and Dad will be back and distract him with a snack—heavy on the ice cream, cookies, ketchup and olives. Throughout the day, the narrator takes his grandpa for a walk, entertains him, plays with him, puts him down for a nap and encourages him to clean up before Mom and Dad’s return. Lists on almost every spread give readers a range of ideas for things to try, provided their grandfathers are not diabetic or arthritic, or have high blood pressure or a heart condition. These lists also provide Wildish with lots of fodder for his vignette illustrations. His digital artwork definitely focuses on the humor, with laugh-out-loud scenes and funny hidden details. And his characters’ expressive faces also help to fill in the grandfather-grandson relationship that Reagan's deadpan narrative leaves unstated.

A good choice for just those days when Mom and Dad do go away and leave their children in charge of Grandpa. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86713-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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