If I Had a Dragon

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Morton's brother is too little to be any fun — but if he were a dragon, playtime would be great...wouldn't it?

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Morton's brother is too little to be any fun — but if he were a dragon, playtime would be great...wouldn't it?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Tracy Riddle
In a fun and simple way, Tom and Amanda Ellery use the story of the older sibling, Morton, in promoting getting along with younger siblings. Told to play with his little brother, Morton expresses that he would rather play with someone more fun, like a dragon. Excited about his idea, Morton tells all the exciting things he and his dragon would do. Nevertheless, Morton gets stopped in his own thoughts when he realizes that teaching a dragon to whistle may cause a fire hazard to his head. Given the downfalls of the dragon, Morton is forced to rethink the dragon and reconsider his brother. His sequencing back through his thoughts serves as a review for children. Full of bright colors, a bit of humor, this is an enjoyable and relevant book, perfect for instilling positive family values and promoting getting along in a household.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Dismayed when his mom asks him to play with his baby brother, Morton wishes that the tot could turn into something fun, like a kite, or better yet, a hulkingly huge, lime-green dragon. In a series of amusing illustrations, the boy imagines the activities that he and his new companion would share, followed by the less-than-fun results on the next spread. A walk seems like a great idea, but the page turn shows the creature flying off into the sky with Morton dangling from its leash. A basketball game might be enjoyable, until he realizes the impossibility of scoring against a wall of towering green flesh. Whistling together is also a bust, as the youngster ends up with toasted hair. Chastened, Morton banishes his imaginary playmate and races home to join his brother in the sandbox. The brief text, interspersed with wordless spreads, makes this offering a great choice for newly independent readers as well as for sharing aloud. The exuberant watercolor-and-charcoal cartoons take maximum advantage of the dragon's girth, and the images sprawl across the pages. The wacky elasticity, breezy hilarity, and unexpected perspectives in the art add a sense of mad motion. This book's theme will resonate with children, who will appreciate the jokes and identify with the mischievous protagonist and his unusual friend.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Ellerys, both of whom have Disney connections, debut with a sketchy but animated take on a familiar whine: "I don't want to play with my brother! He's too little," responds Morton to a parental command. Morton's unhappiness turns to glee, at least temporarily, when he imagines his toddler sibling transformed into a huge dragon-but then, on second thought, how much fun would it be to play basketball, go the swimming pool or watch a movie with such a gigantic companion? "Eesh." Simply drawn, but with expressive faces and postures, the small carrot-topped lad and his towering green playmate stand out against minimal monochrome backgrounds in a series of nearly wordless setup-and-punch line scenes. Coming around to acceptance at last, Morton runs home to fetch a bucket and is last seen happily playing with his normal-sized brother in the sandbox. Parts of the spread portraying Morton's dash disappear into the gutter, but that's really the only bobble in this brief, cheery episode. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416909248
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/23/2006
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,463,275
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Amanda Ellery is a freelance writer and the author of If I Had a Dragon and If I Were a Jungle Animal. She lives in Santa Clarita, California with her three kids.

Tom Ellery is an Emmy Award-winning director and artist and has worked in the animation industry for more than fifteen years. He has illustrated If I Had a Dragon and If I Were a Jungle Animal. He lives in Santa Clarit, California with his three kids.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2006

    'If I had a Dragon' delivers a good message in a charming, and funny story!

    I loved this humorous and imaginative story! The lively, funny illustrations convey the story-- perfect for short attention spans and bedtime stories when you don't want lots and lots of words.... As a teacher and grandmother, I highly recommend this book for children ages 2 to 7 or 8. Teachers will see lots of opportunites for 'spin off' activities involving sibling relationships and 'if-- then' (predictability) concept work, and what a perfect springboard for creative writing!! This is the kind of book that encourages the imagination to soar!

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