Great Illustrated Books


By Emily Gravett

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 3-6
ISBN: 9781442452312

This little green dragon is a demon for books! Especially at bedtime, he just can't get enough of his favorite book. Like many tots, he asks to have it read again, and again, and again . . .

The story about our dragon starts on the endpages. In a series of vignettes, he plays sword-fight, has his evening snack of milk and cookies (gingerbread knights!), brushes his teeth and rests in the bath. When he emerges, the little darling is clutching his blanket and favorite book, a hopeful look in his eyes. Who can resist? Surely not his parent.

Turn the page, and we enter into their open book: "Cedric the dragon's a bright angry red. / He's never, / His whole life, / (Not once) been to bed. / At nighttime when everyone else is asleep, / He noisily prowls through the tower, then leaps…"

Be forewarned, for Emily Gravett is making excellent use of foreshadowing! Our hopeful dragon pleads, "Again?" then dances while the cranky caretaker indulges but takes some liberties, "At nighttime when Cedric SHOULD be asleep…" "AGAIN!" he demands. The frankly- exhausted adult obliges, but look carefully, there are some changes: little green dragon starts turning a bit red about the cheeks. When his parent dares to fall asleep during the fourth reading, little green dragon turns an increasingly-bright angry red. Detail-oriented children will immediately spot that as he does so, Cedric also changes; he turns greener. In a fury, little dragon upends the book, upsetting the book's characters. This time when he shouts "AGAIN!" it comes out as a fiery blast, burning a hole right through the book! With a dramatic use of a die-cut hole in the last page and back cover, we see the annoyed book characters escape while our surprised little dragon peeks through the burned page.

Children will undoubtedly get the message, and parents won't be surprised when their little ones ask for this story AGAIN!

Reviewed by : JMcD


If you love this book, then try:

Klausmeier, Jesse. Open This Little Book. Chronicle Books, 2013.

Shea, Bob. Dinosaur vs. Bedtime. Hyperion, 2008.

Critics have said

Gravett, that master of the metafictive die cut, returns for a savvy bedtime satire.
Kirkus Reviews