After his mother repeatedly refuses to get him a dog, a little boy asks for a dragon. "If you can find a dragon, you can keep it for a pet," she replies. He does find one, of course, and life with a fire-breathing dragon who roasts wieners in the living room makes a dog seem saintlike in comparison. A happy ending and whimsical 1950s-style illustrations add up to a romp of a tale. (Ages 4 to 6)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
LaRochelle's (the Mad Mysteries series) comic timing and Wakiyama's (When It's the Last Day of School) retro art add sparkle to this witty variation on a universal theme, the child who wants a dog. Tired of his mother's refusals of his repeated requests for a dog, the towheaded narrator changes his tactic and asks instead for a dragon. "If you can find a dragon, you can keep it for a pet," she replies. After some searching, the boy locates a dragon at the drugstore, reading a magazine, but it takes some hard bargaining before the dragon agrees to come home with him. It turns out, however, that dragons wreak havoc: "They roast hot dogs in the living room" (the illustration shows the creature reclining in a wingback chair, breathing fire), and they dance to loud music all night (the scaly pet spins records on a turntable and strings paper lanterns from the ceiling). The nostalgic settings of Wakiyama's vignettes and spreads, which introduce old-fashioned soda counters and beach-bathing girls who could double for the Coppertone model, accentuate the naughty goings-on by the implied contrast. Kids will cheer the clever young narrator's solution to the problem-which nets him the dog he longed for-and will relish the image of boy and dragon exchanging an in-cahoots thumbs-up over the garden wall as the mother lovingly tends to the dog. A fresh, fun frolic. Ages 5-up. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
What is a child to do when mother will not let him have a dog? For three days the child asks for a dog, but his mother always has a reason why a dog would not make a good pet. Finally on the fourth day, the child decides to ask for a dragon instead. His mother, knowing that a dragon would be a difficult pet to find, allows the child to get a dragon for a pet. The determined child finally finds a dragon at a drugstore. He brings his new pet home and, of course, the dragon does not behave at all: he roasts hot dogs in the living room and eats spaghetti in the bath tub. The mother becomes agitated and the boy's solution is to get a dog because dragons do not like dogs. Once the dog arrives, the dragon leaves. The child's mother then realizes that a dog is the best pet after all. Any child that has ever been told by their parent they could not have something they wanted will relate to this clever and funny book. 2004, Dutton Children's Books, Ages 5 to 7.
PreS-Gr 2-A young boy is desperate to have a dog. When his mother meets his repeated requests with firmer and firmer refusals, he modulates his demand and asks for a pet dragon instead. Thinking she is safe, she agrees that if he can find one, he can keep it. Unfortunately for Mom, he eventually manages to locate one, but the creature is disruptive and untidy. It won't clean up after itself, eats spaghetti in the bathtub, and roasts hot dogs (with its own breath) in the living room. When the youngster points out to his mother that dragons are scared of dogs, she finally agrees to get one. Domestic happiness is restored and the unwanted beast slinks off. LaRochelle captures the essence of the relationship between mother and son with dry humor and laconic text. The child's unfailing optimism triumphs over practical realities and his mother's initial opposition. The simplicity of the language is ideal for beginning readers, while the subtext keeps everyone amused. Wakiyama's nostalgic gouache illustrations evoke the 1950s. Dressed in capris, Mom irons print tablecloths and does dishes by hand. The appliances and decor are of the period, and the dragon is found in an old-fashioned drugstore. The bright, witty artwork complements the story to perfection.-Jane Barrer, Washington Square Village Creative Steps, New York City Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, a little boy asks his mother for a dog, but the answer is no. On Thursday, when he asks for a pet dragon, she says if he can find one, he can keep it for a pet. After searching from beach to zoo, he finds a dragon in the drugstore sporting dark glasses and a hat. But the dragon doesn't put toys away, or help with chores, and makes a mess in the kitchen. When they roast hot dogs in the living room and dance all night to loud music, Mom insists the dragon leave, but he refuses and keeps eating spaghetti in the bathtub. The boy claims it's too bad they don't have a dog because dragons are afraid of them; Mom concedes and they put a "Dog Wanted" sign in the window: dilemma solved. Insouciant retro-looking illustrations add sly touches of humor, like the tow-headed boy and dragon giving each other thumbs up. Kids will grin at the clever, imaginative ruse that outsmarts a mom as only kids can. (Picture book. 5-8)
A happy wag of the kid-wants-dog-tale, with guaranteed giggles. -Booklist, starred review