Author: Jodi Moore
Illustrator: Howard McWilliam
Publisher: Flashlight Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Rating: 5 stars
'If you build a perfect sandcastle a dragon will move in..."
As a young child, I loved the 1977 Disney movie Pete's Dragon. Elliot the dragon was so playful and mischievous and always made me laugh.
The dragon in this funny picture book reminded me of Elliot. The little boy in this story is on the beach creating a perfect sandcastle when to his delight, a rambunctious friend shows up. As much as the boy tries to explain the existence of his friend, his family won't believe him. At first the boy doesn't mind. His family just can't share his marshmallows that the dragon toasts him or fly the kite that flies without any wind.
But then his family starts blaming him for the troubles that the dragon is causing. They are convinced that the boy must have thrown sand on his sister, eaten all of the PB&J sandwiches, blown bubbles in his lemonade, and put fingerprints in all the brownies. All his dragon does when his parents accuse him is laugh, heh, heh, heh... What is the boy to do?
Positive elements: This is a tale of friendship and imagination. It is a silly story to brighten your child's day. The pictures are detailed and the character's expressions are varied and exaggerated. The boy learns that he can't stay mad at a friend.
Negative elements: The boy does allow the dragon to be a bad influence on him and starts participating in some of his escapades. The boy acts out in anger (but later regrets it and accepts his dragon friend again).
I am very impressed by this new book from Flashlight Press. I hope to see more from this author and illustrator, too!
What would your perfect sandcastle look like?
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