Monday, January 12, 2009

Review #11: Hush Little Dragon

Dad:  Today we're reviewing "Hush Little Dragon" by Boni Ashburn and illustrated by Kelly Murphy.
Lily (age 5):  Okay - let's do it!
Gracie (age 8):  Is she related to Katie?
Isaac (age 10):  Katie Murphy - Gracie's friend...
Dad:  I don't think so.  Okay, let's read it first.  Should I sing it or read it?
Gracie:  Read it.
Dad:  "Hush, little dragon, don't make a sound...."
Gracie:  No, no!  Sing it!
Dad: (singing) "Hush, little dragon, don't make a sound.  Mama's gonna bring you a princess she found."
Gracie:  With a very pointy hat.

Singing continues... and the book eventually concludes with...

Dad:  "She'll whisper in your ear, 'Sweet dreams, good night.'"
Lily:  Where's his ear?
Gracie:  There was a lot of running away in that book.
Lily:  That was a cute baby dragon!
Isaac:  Why does the mother dragon have a brown beard?  It's a girl!
Lily:  It's the cutest baby dragon in the world.
Gracie:  People would not want to read this book to their baby if she's scared of the dark.
Dad:  Then to whom would you read it?
Isaac:  To a dragon!
Dad:  Alright, tell us about the book.
Isaac:  It was good.  It's about a dragon...
Gracie:  Who has to "hush."
Isaac:  He has to go to bed.
Gracie:  But he wants a snack.
Isaac:  So he eats people.
Gracie:  And a horse.
Dad:  Was that kind of surprising to have a kids' book where creatures eat the people?  Did that strike anyone as weird?
Gracie:  It's a funny, cute, little, horrifying book...
Isaac:  It's a strange book, but it's good.
Gracie:  It's strange because it's horrifying and cute at the same time.
Isaac:  I like it, but it's just kind of strange.  Not in a bad way though.
Gracie:  It's funny because the baby has a gynormous belly.
Isaac:  That's only in the end...
Gracie:  I know - it's funny.
Lily:  It's fat!
Gracie:  It ate everything.
Dad:  Every thing?
Gracie:  EveryONE.  Plus a horse.
Dad:  Some of them got away I think, didn't they?
Gracie:  Yeah, the king.
Isaac:  And the magician.
Gracie:  No wait - he disappeared, but I think he disappeared into his belly.
Dad:  Which of those people do you think was the most delicious?
Isaac:  The mean old queen.
Gracie:  Yeah.
Dad:  Really?  I wouldn't want to eat someone so sour looking.
Gracie:  But it says "You're in luck - it's good cuisine."  The one I wouldn't want to eat is the knight with fire on his buns - I don't want to eat fire!
Lily:  I would eat the wizard so I can get magic and make things disappear.
Dad:  You think you're able to do magic if you eat a wizard?  What happens if you eat a knight?
Lily:  I would become brave!  And strong!  And fight bad guys!
Gracie:  You would get fiery buns.
Lily: (now off in la la land...) "Don't eat me up!  I'm the beautifulest princess of all!"
Gracie:  All the princesses are just watching the king get grabbed by the dragon and they are not doing anything about it.  No one cares that the dragons are taking the king.  The king with his underpants.  "Aaaghh! You can see my underpants!"
Isaac:  I don't think those are underpants.
Dad:  What are some ways that they keep this book from being scary?
Gracie:  Because she draws the baby dragon cute.  And the mommy dragon has giant eyelashes and a beard.  And the king is wearing his underpants in public.
Isaac:  It's not underpants!
Gracie:  And besides... the dragons only eat kings and musketeers and horses and things like that.  Children are safe.
Isaac:  The people don't look real.  They look like little blocks... like they are built out of squares and triangles.
Gracie:  She made the three musketeers have tiny little beards and gynormous mustaches.  The knights have no noses.  And the princess has pink bunny ears.
Lily:  The buildings look like building blocks.  No - actually, a rubber castle.  A rubber town.
Gracie:  Like one of those giant bouncy castle things.
Isaac:  If you think of the dragons as felt and cloth, they would really look like Muppets.
Gracie:  Look at the little dancing dragon!  He's dancing!  He's dancing!
Dad:  How can you tell the mommy dragon and the baby dragon love each other?
Gracie:  The mommy is serving the baby his food.  And she's protecting him.  And she lets him wear the queen's crown.  And she snuggles with him at the end.
Isaac:  When does the baby wear a crown?
Gracie:  Hee hee!  When the mom finds the mean old queen... see!  Ha ha ha!
Dad:  Is your mommy like this mommy?
Gracie:  They both love their children.  But our mom doesn't go around eating people.

little dancing dragon, by Isaac

dinnertime, by Lily

Boni Ashburn and Kelly Murphy meet their dragons,
by Gracie

Author: Boni Ashburn
Illustrator: Kelly Murphy
Published, 2008: Abrams Books
Like it? Find it


Carrie said...

Very cute!

Jacqui said...

I just found your blog (via Boni Ashburn's blog) and I can't wait to share with my daughter. My favorite part is the picture of the author and illustrator meeting their dragon. Thanks!

Viviane Schwarz said...

I like the sounds of this book... but I particularly like the little dancing dragon!

ElizT said...

Goodness, I will be careful, next time I meet a dragon!

Debbie Diesen said...

I've been enjoying all the Bookie Woogie reviews, but particularly so this one. Love the art!

Nina Crittenden said...

Great review! I love this book, too! Keep up the great work you guys!

Z-Kids said...

Thanks everybody for leaving comments. You should read this book, it's really great!
- Gracie

Yeah baby!
- Lily

Shanna said...

Great sounding book! I bet my three will love it too! Great illustrations.

tanita✿davis said...

We got to your blog via the School Library Journal Blog, Fuse#8. We review books for much older readers, but we think yours is MUCH more fun!

I mean, dragons. Eating people. Not a lot of that in YA, sadly.

Charlotte said...

Gosh, I'm so curious now--if the king isn't wearing underpants, what is he wearing? I will have to find this book...

caribookscoops said...

What a fun review! and really what was the King wearing?

Carrie said...

BTW! I made a little mention of you and am here to leave my thanks for introducing me to Little Hoot and Little Pea!

Z-Kids said...

Uhhhh... Great. I know they are not underpants... They are like, pants that, like... I don't know what they are called. They are poofy pants - I wish I never said that, because now I don't know what they are called. Maybe you could look at the book, or maybe Kelly Murphy can tell us.
- Isaac

SLO Rober said...

What a wonderful blog! I just discovered it and can't wait to read these books and share your reviews with my children (7,5 and 2). We LOVE to read together and discuss the books after. We have almost completed the 3rd grade "Battle of the Books" reading list, but chapter books lose the attention of my youngest. I'm so glad to have found a new reading list to share with my kids that they all can enjoy! Chapter books are great, but picture books are even better!
Thanks, again.

Angie said...

Can I send you a book to review?
'Sammy Learns To Talk' by Angela Holzer. It's helps parents assess their child's speech.

Z-Kids said...

Hello to all our new visitors, Welcome!
Thanks for your question Angie... If anyone is ever interested in sending us a book to look over, write me an email at zenzart(at)hotmail(dot)com and I can get you some more information. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Like others, my favorite is Boni and Kelly meeting the dragons...hilarious!

Anonymous said...

I believe they proper term for the "underpants" are:

Pronunciation: \ˈtrəŋk-\
Function: noun plural
Etymology: probably from obsolete English trunk to truncate

Definition: short full breeches reaching about halfway down the thigh that were worn chiefly in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

You can also find them being called "Pumpkin Pants", and I laugh every time I say that. I think I went into WAY too much detail. Underpants are fine by me!

short poems said...

Interested review! I love this book :)