Hamlet and the Enormous Chinese Dragon Kite

Hamlet and the Enormous Chinese Dragon Kite

by Brian Lies
Quince knows that his best friend, Hamlet, is going to get into trouble, the minute he sees the enormous red kite Hamlet has bought.


Quince knows that his best friend, Hamlet, is going to get into trouble, the minute he sees the enormous red kite Hamlet has bought.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With precocious critters drawn in a clean, hard-edged style similar to that of Berkeley Breathed (minus the airbrush), Lies (illustrator of the Flatfoot Fox books) offers a promising picture book, his solo debut. No brooding Danish prince, his Hamlet is an adventure-loving young pig. Against the advice of Quince, his play-it-safe porcupine friend, Hamlet decides to go fly a kite--a huge scarlet dragon of the type used in Chinese New Year's parades. It dwarfs Hamlet and, when it catches a breeze, lifts him into the sky. Quince urges Hamlet to drop back down, but ``the farther up he went, the worse the idea of letting go seemed.'' Finally, a flock of eagles shreds the dragon and the porcine risk-taker plummets toward earth, landing safely in a tree. Kite-sailing readers familiar with the wind's strong tug will have no trouble imagining Hamlet's flight. Lies's most effective angle is a vertiginous close-up of the soaring eagles and kite, with Hamlet in the background and yellow fields far below. Only a few superfluities in the text keep this from being an all-out smash. Lies's rich autumnal palette, meticulously detailed images and ability to sustain narrative tension make him someone to watch. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-When Hamlet, a small pig, decides to buy a huge kite, his friend Quince, a porcupine, is worried. Undeterred, Hamlet gets the ``...beautiful Chinese dragon...with the fierce claws and a long, winding tail'' that he has admired at the village store. Quince's worst fears are confirmed when the kite, flying high on a strong wind, sweeps the porker up and away. At first he enjoys being airborne, but in the end, he is happy to land in one piece. This simple adventure story, with its animal cast and a setting that suggests rural New England, celebrates the thrill of risk-taking and the warmth of friendship. Full-color illustrations reminiscent of Bill Peet's work add slapstick humor to the text and portray the dragon in all its red splendor. A diverting read-aloud.-Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Deborah Abbott
When the pig Hamlet tells his porcupine friend Quince that he is going to buy a kite, Quince foresees trouble. Knowing that Hamlet's adventures always end in disaster, Quince tries unsuccessfully to change his friend's mind. But Hamlet buys a huge red Chinese dragon kite and is soon having the time of his life. Unfortunately, when the string runs out, the strong wind carries Hamlet aloft as a distressed Quince watches from below. Hamlet meets an airborne eagle, who, thinking the dragon is kidnapping the pig, gathers his friends to destroy the kite. Plummeting to earth, Hamlet is snagged by a tree. After being scolded by cows, he trudges home, where Quince welcomes him with a cup of hot chocolate. All is peaceful--until Hamlet thinks of another adventure. Lies' bright color drawings, reminiscent of Bill Peet's work, carry the sprightly story, which explores the nature of friendship, to great heights.

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.87(w) x 9.82(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Brian Lies is the award-winning author/illustrator of the New York Times bestseller Bats at the Beach, and he has written and illustrated more than twenty books for children. Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Brian lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts with his wife and daughter. He has loved libraries and books since he was little, and when he travels, he rarely misses an opportunity to explore the local library. Visit BrianLies.com to learn more about the author and his books.

A portion of the proceeds from this book is being donated to Bat Conservation International.

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