One morning two children find a strange girl fashioning a dragon from the sand on the beach. Amazingly, an eye blinks at them; the shape breathes. As she forms the tail, it seems to twitch. The girl tells them that when the tide reaches it, the dragon will flow free. But that never happens because fearful people always crush it first. As other children arrive and jump on it, the dragon seems to crack apart and disappear. The children try to reshape it and stand guard, as the sun sets and the moon rises. Finally the tide approaches, and as they wish on the stars, the dragon slips away, spirals through space, and the children rejoice. The magic of this mysterious story begins with the blue-spangled-wild-red-blond haired girl depicted on the jacket liberating a tiny yellow dragon. Using acrylic, colored pencils, and airbrush, Meister depicts her efforts to sculpt the sand dragon as the fascinated children watch. More magic is contributed by two small snail- and dragon-like creatures who react with nonverbal gestures. The boy and the girl on the shore provide a contact with reality even as they play their role in the magic. Further interpretations are up to the imaginative reader. 2006, Orca Book Publishers, Ages 4 to 8.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz