If That Breathes Fire, We're Toast!

Overview

Rick is not happy when he and his mother move from San Diego, where he had friends, to Arizona, where he knows no one. He dreads a long, boring summer, until the day Madame Yang arrives on the scene. Madame Yang is no fairy godmother. She's a fire-breathing, marsh-mallow-eating, princess-chasing, time-traveling, hotheaded dragon, with her own ideas on just about everything. Now Rick and his neighbor Natalie are in the hot seat. Will the two of them be able to keep Madame Yang ...
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Overview

Rick is not happy when he and his mother move from San Diego, where he had friends, to Arizona, where he knows no one. He dreads a long, boring summer, until the day Madame Yang arrives on the scene. Madame Yang is no fairy godmother. She's a fire-breathing, marsh-mallow-eating, princess-chasing, time-traveling, hotheaded dragon, with her own ideas on just about everything. Now Rick and his neighbor Natalie are in the hot seat. Will the two of them be able to keep Madame Yang happy, or will their goose be cooked?

When eleven-year-old Rick and his mother move from San Diego to Tucson he is not too happy about the change, but when they get a fire-breathing, time-traveling dragon to replace their broken furnace, his new life starts to get more interesting.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Julie Steinberg
Twelve-year-old Rick Morales and his mother move from familiar San Diego to strange new digs in Arizona. With his mother looking for photography work, Rick's only companion is his cat, Fat Boy. But Rick soon becomes friends with Natalie, a girl his age with her own basement workshop. Their adventures start after Rick's mother orders a replacement furnace from a mysterious company called "Dragonwerks." Enter Madam Yang, a manicured dragon who snacks on princesses and favors time-traveling. Soon after her arrival, Madam gets sick on marshmallows. The dragon-care book is checked out of the library, so Rick takes her to see the local veterinarian. After recovering, Madam takes Rick, Natalie, and Natalie's little brother back in time where they barely escape being eaten by another dragon. Madam also gives Rick a glimpse into his future, which seems to include a romance between his mother and the kind vet. Back in the present, Madam almost eats Natalie's prissy princess-like cousin. She decides it is time for her to move on but she leaves the children a legacy. And Rick's mother gets a real furnace. The story beautifully blends fantasy and reality. This book is tough to put down! Clever and realistic dialogue enhances its readability. Another plus: the main characters include a capable, professional single mother and a mechanically inclined girl.
Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Eleven-year-old Rick narrates this humorous story of new beginnings in Arizona. When the furnace in their new house is not working, Rick points out a small label that says "Dragonwerks, Ltd. Lifetime Guarantee." His mom calls and the company agrees to send out a temporary replacement until the new models are available. What arrives in a crate is Madam Yang, a 500-year-old dragon. Rick and his new friend, Natalie, discover that Madam Yang has the ability to time travel and they have a few interesting visits to the past and one to the future. After she leaves, the children discover a gift from her, and a sequel seems probable. The writing is strongest when Rick is dealing with troubles in the present. The dialogue is fresh and the characters are likable, including the adults. The only real negative is the time-travel aspect, which seems forced; it is used to teach the kids lessons, and interrupts the developing relationships. A quick, fun read.-Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Tucson gives a young San Diegan a warm welcome in more ways than one in this relaxed, readable debut. Rick Morales isn't all that happy to be moving with his mother, Sylvia, to another state, but meeting Natalie, a friendly girl, and Madam [sic] Yang, a collie-sized, 500-year-old dragon, soon puts him into better spirits. Madam Yang does not grant wishes ("Do I look like a genie? You've been mythinformed"), but does breathe fire, and volunteers to transport Rick, Natalie, and her little brother, Ben, into magical adventures. Weaving in a budding romance between Sylvia and a local veterinarian, Stewart decorates the plot with comic set pieces, such as an ugly pet contest and a nearly disastrous encounter between Madam Yang and Nat's deliciously princess-like cousin Olivia. Although everyone tends to take Madam Yang so much in stride that she seems more an exotic pet than an Event, the likable cast and tongue-in-cheek humor will keep readers turning the pages. (Fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439174824
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 863,993
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.49 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Table of Contents

1. In Which I Leave My Heart in San Diego 1
2. Dragonwerks Delivers 14
3. Damsel Distressed 27
4. Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch 35
5. The Proper Diet for a Dragon 46
6. The Dragon's Lair 60
7. Some Enchantments Are Better Left That Way 69
8. Dragon Flight 77
9. Dragons Will Make You Crazy 88
10. Madam Yang Bends the Rules 101
11. Please Don't Eat the Princess 105
12. Starting Over 115
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2001

    this book is fabulous!!!

    I love this book!

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