A little boy's mother won't let him have a dog. Dogs are too messy and too loud. But she says he can have a dragon for a pet - if he can find one. Enter the coolest - but naughtiest - pet ever. The dragon is messier and louder than any dog. And he will not leave. How will the boy ever get a dog now?
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David LaRochelle lives in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Hanako Wakiyama lives in San Francisco, California.
PreSchool-Grade 2–A young boy is desperate to have a dog. When his mother meets his repeated requests with firmer and firmer refusals, he modulates his demand and asks for a pet dragon instead. Thinking she is safe, she agrees that if he can find one, he can keep it. Unfortunately for Mom, he eventually manages to locate one, but the creature is disruptive and untidy. It won't clean up after itself, eats spaghetti in the bathtub, and roasts hot dogs (with its own breath) in the living room. When the youngster points out to his mother that dragons are scared of dogs, she finally agrees to get one. Domestic happiness is restored and the unwanted beast slinks off. LaRochelle captures the essence of the relationship between mother and son with dry humor and laconic text. The child's unfailing optimism triumphs over practical realities and his mother's initial opposition. The simplicity of the language is ideal for beginning readers, while the subtext keeps everyone amused. Wakiyama's nostalgic gouache illustrations evoke the 1950s. Dressed in capris, Mom irons print tablecloths and does dishes by hand. The appliances and decor are of the period, and the dragon is found in an old-fashioned drugstore. The bright, witty artwork complements the story to perfection.–Jane Barrer, Washington Square Village Creative Steps, New York City
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