Dragons Are Singing Tonight

( 3 )

Overview

An "excellent collection....Prelutsky and Sis...bring to life so many sorts of dragons: the large, the small, the ferocious, the technological, the gentle, the ominous, and the disconsolate. There's a 'just right' quality to the verse that makes it a pleasure to read the words aloud. Their sounds fit together with seamless craftsmanship and their sense rewards listeners with humor, imagination, and occasional poignancy....Because it appeals on so many levels, this is one poetry ...

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Overview

An "excellent collection....Prelutsky and Sis...bring to life so many sorts of dragons: the large, the small, the ferocious, the technological, the gentle, the ominous, and the disconsolate. There's a 'just right' quality to the verse that makes it a pleasure to read the words aloud. Their sounds fit together with seamless craftsmanship and their sense rewards listeners with humor, imagination, and occasional poignancy....Because it appeals on so many levels, this is one poetry book that won't siton the shelf for long."—Booklist.

A collection of poems about dragons, including "I'm an Amiable Dragon," "If You Don't Believe in Dragons," and "A Dragon Is in My Computer."

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
This book is irresistible.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Prelutsky ( Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast ) and Sis ( An Ocean World ; Komodo! ) outdo themselves with this fanciful series of poems about dragons. Prelutsky wrings a range of surprising verse from a seemingly limited theme. Stock images get a face-lift: in ``A Dragon's Lament,'' for example, the narrator declares, ``I'm tired of being a dragon, / Ferocious and brimming with flame, / The cause of unspeakable terror / When anyone mentions my name.'' An unerring sense for rhythm lends punch to the light verse, while more atmospheric selections, like the title poem, conjure up a fantasy world, where dragons come out of their lairs and ``sing of their exploits of old / Of maidens and knights, and of fiery fights / And guarding vast caches of gold.'' Sis adds a new depth to Prelutsky's poetry. The artist's trademark antique gold borders enclose dramatically colored full-spread oil and gouache paintings. Old-fashioned imagery collides happily with whimsy: a Tenniel-style girl ``walks'' her leashed dragons, which soar in the air like kites; an ailing scaly dragon, reclining in its fairy-tale-like stone house, sips from tanks of gasoline; a goggle-wearing pilot in an open-air cockpit steers a mechanical dragon made from charmingly low-tech components (an umbrella serves as propellor). An enchanted pairing. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Now, while Jurassic Park sweeps the country, poet Jack Prelutsky turns his talents to different lizards in The Dragons Are Singing Tonight. While the movie uses technology to work its magic, Prelutsky uses a similarly fantastic technology of words to amaze and delight readers from six to twelve. Dragons are special to Prelutsky. Through years of going into Chinese restaurants and reading their place mats, he noticed that he was born in a year of the dragon, he took the dragon to heart. Prelutsky grew up in the Bronx with an asthmatic mother who wouldn't allow pets and dreamed of having his own dragon... a small one, of course, that he could manage and train. Some of the poems reveal his boyhood dream.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A combination of author, illustrator, and subject that is certain to have a great deal of appeal. Dragons are verbally and visually portrayed in this collection with wonder, whimsy, and a touch of wistfulness. The 17 poems are presented on large double-page spreads with a delightful juxtaposition of the ancient and modern, real and imaginary. Gold tones appear throughout with the addition of symbols and images from the poems in the border frames. The oil and gouache paintings on a gesso background have marvelous details and unexpected bursts of humor. Although not all of the entries have Prelutsky's rollicking read-aloud quality, the richness of his language and the playfulness of the imagination are abundant; and Sis's illustrations are charmingly unique, sometimes deceptively simple, and certainly filled with the kind of playful wizardry that invites viewers to return again and again to these pages.-Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Carolyn Phelan
It's tempting to quote nearly all the 17 poems in this excellent collection, but here's just a short one: "If you don't believe in dragons, / it is curiously true / That the dragons you disparage / Choose to not believe in you." Prelutsky and Sis must be true believers to bring to life so many sorts of dragons: the large, the small, the ferocious, the technological, the gentle, the ominous, and the disconsolate. There's a "just right" quality to the verse that makes it a pleasure to read the words aloud. Their sounds fit together with seamless craftsmanship, and their sense rewards listeners with humor, imagination, and occasional poignancy. More than a mirror for the verse, Sis' artwork extends the imagery with paintings of haunting beauty, subtlety, and strangeness. There's an otherworldly quality to the homeliest settings, magnified in more imaginative situations to a visionary surrealism. Because it appeals on so many levels, this is one poetry book that won't sit on the shelf for long. Consider multiple copies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688161620
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 217,079
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Prelutsky

Jack Prelutsky is the best-selling author of more than fifty books of poetry, including The New Kid on the Block, illustrated by James Stevenson, and Stardines Swim High Across the Sky, illustrated by Carin Berger. Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington State.

Peter Sís is an internationally acclaimed author, artist, and filmmaker. Among his works are three Caldecott Honor books: The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain; Tibet: Through the Red Box; and Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei. He has illustrated five other novels by Sid Fleischman, including the Newbery Medal book The Whipping Boy. He lives with his family in New York State.

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Read an Excerpt

I'M AN AMIABLE DRAGON

I'm an amiable dragon,
And I have no wish to scare,
Do not tremble at my presence,
Do ignore my lethal stare,
Do not fret about the fire
I unleash into the air,
You are free to pass unchallenged--
But only if you dare!
The Dragons Are Singing Tonight. Copyright © by Jack Prelutsky. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 14, 2009

    Classic

    I loved this book so much when i was in elementary school. I still have two of the poems memorized all these years later. I'll be buying this for my own children now.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    If your child loves dragons

    The pictures in this book are so charming and imaginative. The poems rhyme. My six year old loves to make up stories, and this book has lot of dragon-food for the imagination. Highly recommended for six and under.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2006

    Old book, good book

    I remember reading this book years ago, and i can still remember it clearly. I loved that book, but sadly don't own a copy. It was my school's copy. poor thing was torn and close to ruin. Wish i could have kept it, loved that book so much.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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