Little Max attends storytime in the library and then goes to the shelf to find a book. What he finds instead is an egg that shakes itself open and hatches a dragon. When he tries to report it, mom, dad, the head librarian and his teacher all chalk it up to his imagination. Finally, he persuades Officer Riley to investigate the ever-growing dragon, which munches on books with a crunch, crunch refrain. They find the entire town staring in amazement at the large, multicolored dragon. It's no longer a case of a dragon in the library—it's "a library in the dragon!" The dragon's refrain holds a promise for an entertaining tale when first encountered. Alas, it pales in repetition.ÃÂ The text is otherwise pedestrian and lacks imagination, and the illustrations, though colorful, are uninspired and feature stiff, sometimes scary facial expressions. And the poor dragon? He should sue the costume and make-up department. Even a page of tips on caring for books can't save this effort: Don't check it out. (Picture book. 4-7)Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr 2--Max sees a huge egg in the library and watches as a dragon hatches, grows, and begins to eat the books. "The dragon opened his mouth and began to munch./He filled his tummy with books. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch." As the creature gets bigger and bigger, the worried boy warns everyone--the children's librarian, his parents, the head librarian, and his teacher--with no success: "There's a dragon in the library, speckled and green. He's a hungry thing! He's an eating machine!" Finally, when it has become enormous, Max goes outside and finds a policeman and they discover that the library has disappeared--inside the dragon. The story concludes with a list of "Max's Book Care Tips," which are good, sensible rules, along with the last two--"Books are for reading, not for eating" and "Never leave a book unsupervised near a dragon." The final endpaper shows Max and the dragon standing in front of a new library with the creature holding a half-filled basket of books with a "donate" sign on it--but whether the contents are for the library or the dragon is not quite clear. Although the format and colorful watercolor and ink illustrations are rather mundane, they convey the humor of the story, which will hold great appeal for dragon storytimes because of the text's catchy repetitious refrains. Dragon books are currently in vogue, and there aren't many that are easy enough for preschoolers. This one will fit the bill--Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA[Page 120]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.