Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Little Candy Breathing Dragons

Dragons and candy, who could possibly not be enticed by this book title? The Little Candy Breathing Dragons is written by Buffalo, New York author (a city very close to my heart) Gloria Clark and illustrated by Bobbi Switzer. In it we meet two dragons, Nay-Nay and Maj, each that breathe candy scents, rather than fire, which in my mind is a delightful concept and who set off on an adventure that brings them friends and life lessons.

As the dragons are off on their adventure, they encounter different characters that are in need of help. We meet a deer that is stuck in a well and a dragon from another universe that has lost his way. Though I don’t think I liked the whole “other universe” aspect, it seemed unnecessary; Dig was my favorite of the friends! The dragons are happy to lend a hand and end up helping each character in their own, unique manner. The give advices, lend a hand, and spread wisdom throughout their journey, as well as making lots of new friends along the way.

As a children’s librarian and one who often does read-alouds with the children, it’s a little difficult to evaluate this book as a whole. The pictures are great, very vibrant and bold, but the actually written text wasn’t what I was hoping for. All of the writing is on the left side of the book with black letters and a white background, with the illustrations on the right side, not a problem in itself, but the paragraphs are so long, I feel children may get bored with long text being read to them and the illustrations only on one page. Mind you, not all of the paragraphs are really long, but a few take up most of the page.

Another small issue is the rhyming within the paragraph. The story does rhyme, which is always an attention grabber, yet the text is in big paragraphs, so getting a “flow” with the rhymes, while reading out loud is slightly difficult. If half the text was cut out I think this would be an awesome picture book and still convey the message Clark wanted to get across.

Even with the few small issues I had with the book, I enjoyed the story of the candy breathing dragons and I think young children will be salivating for some candy once the story is over. I certainly was! Gumdrops sound pretty great right about now!

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