Reposted from http://www.atxenglish.com
Most of my reviews will target older readers, but since I’ve got a bunch of new FB fans who have littles at home (thanks, y’all!), I thought I’d do a couple of picture book reviews! And first up is Emily Gravett’s AGAIN, the book I grabbed on the way out the door to my photoshoot with Natalya and the boys.
One sentence review: This is a super cute, rhyming book about bedtime stories, dragons, and sleepy parents – includes a clever story-within-a-story and an actual hole burnt through the page by Little Dragon! Ages 2-4ish
Longer review: In this charming tale of a parent and child (both dragons) reading at bedtime, Emily cleverly develops a “story within a story” – we read the same bedtime story that Little Dragon is reading with Big Dragon. Initially it’s a fairytale about Cedric the dragon who’s “never, his whole life, (not once) been to bed.” Instead of sleeping, Cedric “prowls” through his castle, “tormenting the trolls” and “grabbing princesses.”
When the story is finished, Little Dragon takes a page out of Cedric’s book and refuses to go to bed, asking to hear the story “again” and “again” (get it?). Big Dragon looks increasingly exhausted, eventually falling asleep on the fourth reading and igniting a fiery tantrum from Little Dragon, who breathes fire out of frustration when s/he can’t manage to read the story independently. In fact, Little Dragon’s frustration is so fierce that it burns a hole straight through the page!
As always, Emily Gravett both writes and illustrates her own stories, and the images ARE the story – that is, the story is incomplete if you don’t “read” the images. Her illustrations make great use of white space on the page, and stylistically resemble pencil sketches filled in with a brilliant color palette; in this title, she maximizes green and red for vivid images that capture Little Dragon’s strong emotions.
Emily Gravett’s work will delight grown-ups and children alike, and just like Little Dragon, your little one will demand that you read this story again, again, AGAIN! (For extra cuteness, check out Sam roaring like Little Dragon in the pic on my bio page.) If you like her work, our other favorite titles from Emily include The Blue Chameleon, The Odd Egg, and Wolves.
Have a picture book (or another title) that you think I should review? Comment below!