I Am a Dragon!: A Squabble & a Quibble

HarperCollins. Jul. 2023. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063253995.
K-Gr 2–Hahn (Pineapple Princess) brings Sandra Boynton–like bounce to these scenes of an indignant dragon in a pond with 14 or so skeptical frogs on a rock; a Greek chorus in green. The dragon knows who he is. A dragon. The frogs know he’s imaginary. The debate continues for several spreads, but it’s more of a philosophical duet, with both sides scoring good points and the dragon increasingly frustrated. In the meantime, a seagull makes off with one of the frogs. Only when the dragon blasts them with fire do the frogs, sunburned and contrite, find they need solace from the rock (actually a turtle)and they all agree to be more open-minded. There is so much silliness here, but the main dialogue and the asides printed over the speakers’ heads keep everything moving. The exuberant cartoons and the arguments are so well-crafted that children will be eager to turn every page.
VERDICT Where did that one frog go? That squabble aside, this is a funny book with a childlike cast, a rousing bonfire at the finale, and dragon-toasted marshmallows for everyone. Even if it’s all imaginary, it’s a delight.

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