When a Dragon Moves In

When a Dragon Moves In

4.8 7
by Jodi Moore, Howard McWilliam
     
 

On a beautiful day at the beach, a young boy brings his bucket, shovel, and imagination, and builds a perfect sand castle. Right away, a dragon moves in. The boy decides to befriend his dragon and they spend time roaming the shore, flying a kite, braving the waves, defying bullies, and roasting marshmallows—all while Dad is busy sunbathing and Mom

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Overview

On a beautiful day at the beach, a young boy brings his bucket, shovel, and imagination, and builds a perfect sand castle. Right away, a dragon moves in. The boy decides to befriend his dragon and they spend time roaming the shore, flying a kite, braving the waves, defying bullies, and roasting marshmallows—all while Dad is busy sunbathing and Mom is engrossed in her book. Unfortunately, no one believes the boy when he tries to share the news of this magnificent creature. That’s when the mischief begins, and the dragon becomes a force to be reckoned with. While adults will recognize the naughty antics as a ploy for attention, children will dissolve into giggles as the dragon devours every last sandwich, blows bubbles in the lemonade, and leaves claw prints in the brownies. Maybe the dragon really is running amok on the beach, or maybe it’s a little boy’s imagination that is running wild.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its sequels should enjoy how debut author Moore, channeling an imaginative boy at the beach with his family, muses upon the consequences of having a bright red dragon take up lodging in his sand castle. At first it's all fun and games ("...you'll have a built-in marshmallow toaster"), with a little subterfuge thrown in (since there's no smoking on the beach, "you'll have to hide his smoke from the lifeguard"). But as the day wears on, the fantasy begins to impinge on others. Ultimately, the cardinal sin of the beach is committed: throwing sand at one's annoying big sister. "Then you'll march over to your sandcastle and order your dragon to leave until he learns some manners," says the narrator, who seems firm in his resolution, but who will live to pretend another day. Although it's not the freshest concept on the shelves, Moore has a light, sure touch, and she gives McWilliam (I Need My Monster) plenty of room to exercise his considerable gifts for operatic expressiveness and expertly choreographed physical humor. Ages 4�8. (May)
From the Publisher

"Moore has a light, sure touch, and she gives McWilliam (I Need My Monster) plenty of room to exercise his considerable gifts for operatic expressiveness and expertly choreographed physical humor." —Publishers Weekly (March 14, 2011)

"[A] funny and creative riff on cause and effect. . . . Colorful, cartoony illustrations brim with humor . . . deadpan text is sure to illicit giggles. . . . A sandy complement to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." —Kirkus (April 11, 2011)

"The delightfully humorous fantasy introduces the enthusiastic sand architect and the happy, fire-belching dragon on the jacket. . . . The cartoony scenes contrast the usual activities of the family with the imaginary but plausible behavior of the playful dragon." —Children's Literature (May 8, 2011)

"The multimedia illustrations overflow with humorous details and comical expressions and poses. . . . True to its circular format, this book is likely to be read over and over again." —Bayviews magazine (May 1, 2011)

"Warmly caricatured people, cinematic pacing, and gleaming pages give this a look that is just short of animation itself. This is a crowd-pleasing merger of sly text and pictures that will tickle many a funny bone. Highly recommended." —Library Media Connection (October 2011)

"This cumulative tale reminiscent of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie tells of a small boy who believes if you build the perfect sandcastle a dragon will move in, and so he does. . . . The illustrations are . . . large, colorful and full of life. This is a great book for sharing with a group or as a jump start to a writing activity with an older audience." —Puget Sound Council

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"If you build a perfect sandcastle, a dragon will move in." So begins the narrative of a castle builder on the beach, and so it happens, at least in his imagination. He notes all the advantages of having a dragon, like a built-in marshmallow toaster and a protector from bullies. When he tries to tell his mother, father, and sister about it, however, they don't believe him. Then the dragon starts causing trouble, like eating all the sandwiches, making bubbles in the lemonade, and nibbling the brownies. His parents blame him and draw the line. He decides to make the dragon leave, vowing never to make a perfect sand castle again, "At least until tomorrow." The delightfully humorous fantasy introduces the enthusiastic sand architect and the happy, fire-belching dragon on the jacket. McWilliam uses a pencil to create the lively duo and the supporting cast and props; color is supplied by digital acrylic. The cartoon-y scenes contrast the usual activities of the family with the imaginary but plausible behavior of the playful dragon. The beginning end pages show the happy family arriving at the beach. On the final end pages, a host of eager youngsters are constructing sand castles on the beach, each with a resident dragon. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—While enjoying a day at the beach with his family, a boy builds a perfect sand castle and a dragon promptly moves in toting a well-worn suitcase. The youngster can't believe his luck while the rest of the family can't believe him. Mischief blamed on the dragon eventually gets the child in trouble, but that doesn't stop him from building an even better castle the next day. While the text is fun, the story is truly told through the comical illustrations. The friendly red dragon's expressions are hilarious whether he is joyfully flying a kite, gobbling sandwiches, or has his snout wrapped in a towel to smother his smoke. Readers will enjoy pointing out what could be real-life explanations for everything the boy attributes to it. Certainly "no beach bully would dare stomp your castle with a dragon inside." (But it would run from an angry dad, pictured behind the narrator.) From the delighted face of the boy when he finds the dragon, to the frustration of the parents when the creature has caused too much trouble, the story and pictures show a classic family outing. This story of a runaway imagination will make for an entertaining storytime as well as an enjoyable one-on-one read.—Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Ft. Thomas, KY
Kirkus Reviews
Doesn't every child want a dragon?Well, "[i]f you build the perfect sandcastle, a dragon will move in," and in this funny andcreative riff on cause and effect, that's exactly what happens. At first, things are perfect: You have a friend to play with, a permanent bully deterrent, a built-in marshmallow toaster and an ever-present raft. But then things start to get complicated. You have to feed the dragon and clean up after him—and no one will believe you when you explain that the dragon is the one to blame.Was thata dragon-ish cackle coming from inside the sandcastle? Be careful what you wish for! Colorful, cartoony illustrationsbrim with humor as they depict this animated boy andtheimpish dragon who may or may not entirely exist. The deadpan text is sure to illicit giggles as itcaptures the conundrum of an imaginary friend with a child's eye and provides a gentleacceptance of the mild misbehavior that sometimes accompanies imaginative play. Oh, well. Maybe it's time to get rid of the dragon, as long as you are polite about it. But if you build another perfect sandcastle, perhaps he'll come back (with friends)tomorrow. A sandy complement toIf You Give a Mouse a Cookie. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979974670
Publisher:
Flashlight Press
Publication date:
05/01/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
104,764
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Jodi Moore is a freelance magazine writer and has worked as chief contributing editor of the Promo Network. She lives in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. Howard McWilliam is the illustrator of the critically acclaimed I Need My Monster. He was chosen as National Young Cartoonist of the Year at the age of 12. A regular cover artist for the Week magazine, he also illustrates for the Sunday Telegraph, Moneyweek, and Outdoor Life.

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