Dylan’s Dragon – Annie Silvestro, illustrations by Ben Whitehouse

 Dylan’s Dragon – Annie Silvestro, illustrations by Ben Whitehouse, Albert Whitman & Company, 9780807517420, 2021 

Format: ARC (Hardcover available April, 2021)

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

Genre: Picture Book

 What did you like about the book? I will always love a book that addresses the issue of children being overscheduled–and this book does just that in such a cute manner. The story begins with a young boy named Dylan just relaxing in his room. He is sprawled out on a rug on the floor and has coloring doodles splayed out around him. He enjoys his time “doodling, drawing, and daydreaming”. As Dylan gets older, things start to change and now he is involved in so many activities: karate, baseball, swimming, gymnastics, studying, piano lessons, and many other events and appointments. During this time, a friendly dragon (looking very similar to the dragon Dylan was drawing in his room) comes to visit Dylan to play. Each time Dylan has to reschedule because he has something going on at that moment. The dragon seems very disappointed, but Dylan assures him they will play when he has time. As it turns out, Dylan never seems to have the time. One day, Dylan has some free time and calls the dragon, but the dragon does not come. He looks everywhere and then begins to cry to think that he will never see his dragon again. This is when his mom realizes that maybe Dylan needs a little more free time to draw and dream. She encourages Dylan to draw a picture of the dragon and soon the dragon does appear. Both Dylan and his dragon enjoy a wonderful day together-just playing.

The illustrations are bright and colorful and features little bits of humor–like when the dragon flashes his gleaming teeth when Dylan explains that he cannot play because of a dentist appointment. The illustrations really capture the joy Dylan feels when he is spending time with his dragon.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This story is perfect for children between the ages of four and eight years old. I think younger children will enjoy the story, but older children will be able to relate to having more things to do, especially if they attend school and have school work during the evenings.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, maybe even elementary school guidance offices, anyone who works with children between the ages of four and eight years old.

Where would you shelve it? Picture Book

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, a great tool to use in opening discussions with children about feeling overwhelmed or overscheduled.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: January 1, 2021

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