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How To Be Friends with a Dragon
     

How To Be Friends with a Dragon

by Valeri Gorbachev
 

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Wouldn't it be fun to have a dragon for a friend? But that's not going to happen if you don't know the rules. Simon's big sister, Emma, knows them all: DON'T poke a dragon when he's taking a nap; he might sneeze fire. DON'T be surprised if the dragon fries some eggs with his breath. DO be sure to wear a seat belt should you ever ride on his back...Simon is

Overview


Wouldn't it be fun to have a dragon for a friend? But that's not going to happen if you don't know the rules. Simon's big sister, Emma, knows them all: DON'T poke a dragon when he's taking a nap; he might sneeze fire. DON'T be surprised if the dragon fries some eggs with his breath. DO be sure to wear a seat belt should you ever ride on his back...Simon is determined to master every last rule, because then maybe, just maybe, he'll get the chance to embark on what is sure to be the adventure of a lifetime.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Young Simon “loved everything about dragons.” But when it comes to achieving his ultimate goal—as articulated by the title—he must rely on his older sister, Emma, for pointers. “If you ever meet a dragon, don’t show that you are scared of him,” she decrees, as Gorbachev (Shhh!) offers a splendid watercolor-and-ink image of Simon’s first encounter with a supersized green beast that breathes fire but has kindly eyes. If readers think that the story’s going to be Simon’s show after that, they’re in for a strange ride. Emma continues to issue a long list of befriending instructions; Simon assents to each one, though he is often seen breaking the rules in the illustrations, swinging from the dragon’s tail or waking him up with a poke to the nose. The dragon, who lives in a stately castle and wears a chef’s apron when he fries eggs in his mouth, indeed seems like a friend worth courting. But with Emma controlling the strings, Simon’s fantasy feels more like a marionette show than something he owns. Ages 4–7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Young Simon is a dragon aficionado. He has several dragon toys, books, and pictures; he draws and paints his own pictures of dragons. Simon lets his older sister, Emma, in on his secret. He wants to become friends with a dragon. In response to the shared secret, Emma advises Simon about the rules on friendships with dragons. She shares several tips with Simon. Emma tells him that he must be brave when meeting a dragon and not to scare the dragon. She lets her brother know that if he is polite to the dragon, then Simon might be invited to the dragon's castle. She warns Simon to remain calm when the dragon breathes fire to cook. Simon expresses that he can (or will try) to comply with the rules of etiquette when he befriends a dragon. The illustrations show Simon attempting to follow the advice of his sister. The story stops short of any further imaginary adventure that Simon experiences with a dragon. For those readers who are interested in this particular book, note that there is another story with the same title that is written by different author. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Simon, a mischievous little boy, is a big fan of all things dragon. He would like nothing better than to become friends with a "real" dragon. His older sister, Emma, an adorable, bespectacled know-it-all, offers him many rules for befriending one. Starting with not scaring the dragon and being nice, her guidelines include wearing a seatbelt when flying on his back, not poking the sleeping creature in the nose with a stick, and saying "thank you" when he fries up some eggs in his mouth. The beast, initially portrayed as an oversize green plush toy in Simon's arms, becomes enormous but friendly looking in the "rules" pages, with tufted ears and horns and an affable expression. Bright, mostly full-page watercolor and ink illustrations in Gorbachev's characteristic style are brimming with gentle humor. Pair this book with Jack Kent's classic There's No Such Thing as a Dragon (Golden, 2001) or David Biedrzycki's Me and My Dragon (Charlesbridge, 2011) for a fun, fire-breathing storytime.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A sweet and gentle picture book with friendship, etiquette and a hint of dragon breath. The prolific Gorbachev, (Shhh!, 2011, etc.) uses a soft color palette to introduce readers to a spirited dragon lover named Simon. The boy's secret: He wants to befriend a dragon. His older, wiser sister, Emma, has a quick response: "If you want to make friends with a dragon, you must remember the rules…" The author deftly teaches life lessons with the softest of nudges. Emma's worldly recitation of tips for dragon friendship shows that befriending a dragon is a lot like befriending anyone else, requiring courtesy and kindness. "[D]on't try to scare him"; "be nice"; "[a]fter lunch, when the dragon takes a nap, you really shouldn't try to wake him up by putting a stick in his nose." The imagined scenes play up the comedy, varying perspective when necessary and depicting the cowboy-hat–clad little boy interacting with a classically spiky, winged green dragon whose amiably goofy expression poses no threat, even when breathing fire. Bedtime approved thanks to its soft palette and reassuring tone, and clever enough to land in many a read-again pile. Decorum delivered in a refreshing package. (Picture book. 3-6)
The New York Times Book Review
If you've never thought of dragons as especially sweet creatures, this delicious story about making friends and maintaining good manners will rid you of worn-out prejudice.
—Pamela Paul

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807534328
Publisher:
Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
366,183
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
AD460L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


Valeri Gorbachev is the author and illustrator of a number of children's books, both in the United States and Europe, including Nicky and the Big Bad Wolves and Where Is the Apple Pie? Mr. Gorbachev immigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1991 and now lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Valeri Gorbachev is the author and illustrator of a number of children's books, both in the United States and Europe, including Nicky and the Big Bad Wolves and Where Is the Apple Pie? Mr. Gorbachev immigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1991 and now lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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