Have You Seen My Dragon?

Overview

Enter a fascinating, ornately drawn cityscape and help a boy find his dragon while counting objects from hot dogs to traffic lights.

In the heart of the city, among the taxis and towers, a small boy travels uptown and down, searching for his friend. Readers will certainly spot the glorious beast, plus an array of big-city icons they can count. Is the dragon taking the crosstown bus, or breathing his fiery breath below a busy street? Maybe he took a taxi to the zoo or is playing ...

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Overview

Enter a fascinating, ornately drawn cityscape and help a boy find his dragon while counting objects from hot dogs to traffic lights.

In the heart of the city, among the taxis and towers, a small boy travels uptown and down, searching for his friend. Readers will certainly spot the glorious beast, plus an array of big-city icons they can count. Is the dragon taking the crosstown bus, or breathing his fiery breath below a busy street? Maybe he took a taxi to the zoo or is playing with the dogs in the park. Steve Light’s masterful pen-and-ink illustrations, decorated with meticulous splashes of color, elevate this counting book (numbers 1–20) to new heights. Maybe the dragon is up there, too!

A 2014 Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner for Picture Books

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Expressive line drawings fill the pages of this counting book, a love letter to the streets and sights of Manhattan. The boy who narrates is small figure with a round head, but his dragon is a magnificent creature that loops its elaborately scaled body and sinuous neck around and through New York’s architectural landmarks, always just out of the boy’s field of vision. On each page, everyday city objects are picked out in one color on the otherwise black-and-white pages (“11 manhole covers”; “12 pigeons”). Vehicles, street food, and even under-the-street wiring get attention as the boy searches on. Readers can spot the dragon sailing the river like the Loch Ness monster (“It’s possible he went for a swim”) or posing fountainlike in the middle of the zoo’s monkey cage. One neighborhood in Lower Manhattan lends itself especially well to dragon habitat; there the boy’s search ends. Light’s (Zephyr Takes Flight) creation will appeal to Manhattanites and those outside the borough alike. Details missed the first time through the book will bring readers back for more. Ages 2–5. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
This unique counting book will be a hit with children who love looking at finely detailed illustrations and searching for hidden items on each page. ... The book is illustrated in pen and ink in a picture-book style that is reminiscent of the late 1950s to early 1960s. The drawings are produced in black ink only, except for the highlighted object on each page. A map on the endpapers outlines the route the boy takes throughout the city. All in all, an excellent offering.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Drawn with a fountain pen, Light’s distinctive illustrations have a bold, thick line and deep texture and are highlighted with dashes of color to help identify objects to count. His cityscapes capture the bustle of New York City, and little readers will have as much fun exploring the city as they do trying to spot the sneaky dragon hidden within. A rough map of the city serves as the book’s endpapers, so little eyes can follow along.
—Booklist

Expressive line drawings fill the pages of this counting book, a love letter to the streets and sights of Manhattan. ... Light’s creation will appeal to Manhattanites and those outside the borough alike.
—Publishers Weekly

Black line pen-and-ink drawings in finely patterned detail depict a vital, lively New York City of the imagination. ... Lots for young readers to see and count.
—Kirkus Reviews

The simple journey and even the counting are merely excuses ... to take in the lavish cityscapes of the pen and ink illustrations: each spread features detailed black and white drawings using thick and thin nib techniques to achieve a calligraphic effect. The countable elements are washed over with a single colorful pigment, setting them apart for easy picking out. ... This is one for poring over, so that youngsters can not only count the color-coded hot dogs, balloons, and subway cars but also spot the dragon sneakily hiding just out of our narrator’s view each step of the way.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Counting has never been so much fun. Detailed pen and ink illustrations splashed with color will keep young readers engaged as they try to spot the adventurous dragon.
—The Huffington Post

Inspired by the steam coming out of New York's manhole covers (which the young author's father said was dragon's breath), Light offers up a winding story of a young boy wandering through a bustling cityscape in search of his dragon. The book does a great job of contrasting intricate black and white line drawings with a bold use of color that will draw kids in, not just to look for the dragon, but to explore the curiosities of the city itself.
—The Huffington Post

Lithe and lovely, overflowing with good will and copious details, expect the sentence, "Have you seen 'Have You Seen My Dragon?'" to appear on the lips of parents and children everywhere.
—Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production (SLJ blog)

Little ones will love finding the creature in each picture, while Steve Light's intricate drawings of the city will impress readers of all ages.
—Parents Magazine Tablet Edition

Steve Light's masterful pen-and-ink illustrations, decorated with meticulous splashes of color, elevate this counting book (numbers 1-20) to new heights.
—WAMC Northeast Public Radio

Counting has never been so much fun. Detailed pen and ink illustrations splashed with color will keep young readers engaged as they try to spot the adventurous dragon.
—Afro Times

Children's Literature - Brandon West
It is time to count hotdogs, subway cars, and paper lanterns in this interesting take on a traditional counting book. A young boy travels around New York City in search of his pet dragon. As the boy traverses around the city, he visits his dragon’s favorite locales, including the park, subway, and Chinatown. Each location features unique objects for children to count, up to the number twenty. The illustrations are the highlight of this book; each page is laced with intricate pen-and-ink drawings with pops of color showcasing the countable objects. Children will notice new details each time they read this book and they will have fun locating where the dragon is hidden in each area. There is a sentence of text on every other page that drives the light narrative of the story, but this book can be enjoyed regardless of reading ability. Even if you have never visited New York City, this book is a worthwhile addition to any library or classroom collection. Reviewer: Brandon West; Ages 2 to 5.
School Library Journal
★ 04/01/2014
K-Gr 2—This unique counting book will be a hit with children who love looking at finely detailed illustrations and searching for hidden items on each page. A boy has lost his dragon and asks the building doorman if he has seen him. The spread shows one large green dragon in a fancy apartment building. When the doorman answers, "No," the boy goes looking for him all throughout the city. "Maybe he got hungry and stopped for a hot dog," he thinks. But even as he buys a hot dog of his own, he doesn't see the dragon hiding and eating one himself. That's two. He passes three purple busses, but doesn't see the dragon. Four blue sailboats raise the possibility that he went for a swim in the river. And so it goes, up to 20, when the boy finds him "right where I left him," hiding on the roof near 20 red paper lanterns. The book is illustrated in pen and ink in a picture-book style that is reminiscent of the late 1950s to early 1960s. The drawings are produced in black ink only, except for the highlighted object on each page. A map on the endpapers outlines the route the boy takes throughout the city. All in all, an excellent offering.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-05
A little boy has misplaced his pet dragon and must search for him all over the city, counting up from one dragon to 20 lanterns. Black line pen-and-ink drawings in finely patterned detail depict a vital, lively New York City of the imagination. Colored-pencil images on each double-page spread are reserved for the city-specific items to be counted along the way, and the endpapers depict a loosely interpreted map indicating the sites. Readers first meet the adventurous dragon in all his greenness, as he is, of course, the representative of the number one. As he moves about the city, the unnamed little boy hypothesizes the locations at which he might find his pet. He is quite accurate in his guesses, but the dragon seems to be a master at blending in to the background, mysteriously having lost his color. But there are things to count, like two pink hot dogs in brown buns, three purple buses and four blue sailboats on the river, all the way up to 20 red lanterns in Chinatown, where he finally spots the dragon, "[r]ight where I left him." If this is an attempt at reminding young readers that the dragon is imaginary, it's a bit of an anticlimax, and it takes a great deal of the fun out of the previous travels around the city. But the visual appeal overcomes it all. Lots for young readers to see and count. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763666484
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/8/2014
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 57,561
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.90 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Light
Steve Light is the author-illustrator of many books for children, including The Christmas Giant and Zephyr Takes Flight. He lives in New York City.
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