Waking Dragons

Waking Dragons Reviews

Waking Dragons
will be available
October 23rd


From Publishers Weekly
Dragons are just not morning people. They “bumble” and “tumble” out of bed, and the doughty little knight who is their master risks life and limb just getting them to “Put their jammies in the hamper.” But with a little patience and a delicious breakfast of waffles (served via catapult), the dragons are ready to serve as a form of airborne transportation to school that’s much more awesome than any old yellow bus. Yolen’s (the How Do Dinosaurs? books) informal, pared-down rhymes have some minor bumps (“breakfast waffles,/ topped with syrup,/ which makes dragons /really cheer up”), but they serve their purpose: setting up Anderson’s marvelous acrylic paintings. With cinematic framing, sculptural shapes, a strong sense of physical comedy, and a fittingly medieval palette of saturated jewel tones, Anderson (the Little Quack series) portrays his horned dragons as hulking slugabeds who morph into surprisingly nimble winged beasts. The young knight scampers around their massive bodies like a practiced mountain climber, willing to risk getting stomped for the reward of having the ultimate lift to Knight School. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)


From School Library Journal
PreS-K—What a treat when Yolen employs her fantasy-writing talents for the younger set. In fewer than a dozen sentences, readers discover dragons’ morning rituals, from fang brushing to “breakfast waffles,/topped with syrup,/which makes dragons/really cheer up.” Luckily for the small knight who assists with their ablutions, part of the schedule includes delivering him to school. Anderson’s familiar golden-washed cartoon paintings embellish the humor. Details like a fire extinguisher labeled “In case of dragon breath,” as well as the dragons’ flying goggles, mean this story’s popularity will spread like fire.–Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA


From Booklist
PresS-Grade 3— For a young boy knight, it’s time for school, but as Mom’s note reminds him: “Don’t forget to wake the dragons” before leaving. Comical chaos begins as the boy, assisted by his canine companion, helps two huge, sleepy-eyed, fire-yawning dragons stumble from bed, brush their teeth, and eat waffles. Then, after helping “wipe their faces, / runny noses, / get into their / outdoor clothes-es” (which include flying goggles and jaunty scarves), the dragons kiss their dragon mom good-bye and fly away, after dropping the boy off at knight school. Anderson’s charming, richly hued illustrations animatedly depict the armor-clad little knight and the cute, expressive dragons’ antics. The rhymes are simple, if sometimes awkwardly phrased, and droll touches abound in the text, which highlights and celebrates responsibilities, from morning prep to providing transport. Like Yolen’s How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? (2000), this delightful offering interweaves fun fantasy and familiar getting-ready routines in an entertaining, enjoyable read that’s great for budding knights, dragon buffs, and caregivers alike. — Shelle Rosenfeld


From Kirkus Reviews
Normally you don’t want to wake the dragon… But even sleepy dragons need a little bit of prodding to open their eyes in the morning. An eager young knight and his faithful squire-puppy run around the bed, desperately tugging on blankets, dodging fiery yawns and heaving these great beasts off the mattress. Yolen is an expert on dinosaurs’ daily activities (How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, illustrated by Mark Teague, 2000, etc.) and can put monsters to bed (Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, 2011), but what about dragons? Starting simply, with only a few words per page: “Dragons wake up. // Dragons rise. // Dragons open / dragon eyes.” Yolen then plays with the scansion, but she keeps the energetic beat throughout. Some rhymes may cause eye-rolling at first (“syrup” and “cheer up,” for example) but in the end come across as quite charming. The drippy, syrupy waffles catapulted into the dragons’ mouths are too darn adorable to resist. Anderson’s bright acrylic illustrations round out the spare text with many added details and guffaws. Tooth brushing, breakfast and other cranky morning chores may have readers guessing that these dragons are off to school, but they have another very important reason for waking up. Morning-routine stories abound, but for the very young this one bounces with exuberance. (Picture book. 2-4)