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Children's LiteratureYoung George, hero of The Egg, dreaming again of dragonish things, is pleased to encounter his old dragon friend, who seems anxious to take him somewhere. Off they fly to "Once upon a time" land, where a warty witch has a fledgling dragon imprisoned in a cage. Challenged to a race with the dragon, the witch tries to weave a spell, but George foils her, and the witch becomes a toad. His dragon friend's anxiety is explained as the now free youngster runs to the dragon happily calling "Daddy." Magical adventure completed, it is back home for George before his parents miss him. The naturalistic double-page watercolor paintings add many details of interest. The witch is the traditional fairy-tale sort, with conical black hat, black cape, straggly gray hair, and a wrinkled face that never cracks a smile. The dragon is an imaginatively depicted green creature with bulbous body, large webbed wings, and a horned head that is not at all nasty. Castles have the expected towers, crenellated walls, moat and drawbridge, while the witch's house is also of proper fairy-tale design. A hovering crow adds textured malevolence, while George is a typical youngster with whom it is easy to identify. 2004, Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz