Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Have You Seen My Dragon?

Have You Seen My Dragon?

Spring 2014 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Steve Light
Illustrator: Steve Light
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763666484
Hardcover Price: $16.99

When a young boy's pet dragon escapes, he must try to think of all the different things in the city that his dragon likes to do—eating hot dogs, visiting the monkeys at the zoo, going for a swim in the harbor, and riding the bus. Each time he arrives at a new destination, he thinks he must be wrong—but each time, the dragon has been there just ahead of him, until they reunite at the end, where there is a map that shows their travels through the city. In each two-page spread, young readers can count items that are special to that city scene, such as pigeons on the roof and ice-cream cones at the ice-cream truck.

This whimsical book will provide plenty of material for repeated readings—or, I should say, viewings, since the main appeal of this book is the illustration. The boy's dragon is cleverly concealed in each scene, out of the protagonist's line of vision, and young readers will enjoy finding where the dragon is hiding from his friend. Although the pictures are mostly black-and-white line drawings, spots of color in each page identify the items to be counted, and children who enjoy counting can practice their numbers from one through twenty. The busy detail of the street scenes also provides plenty of humor and imaginative observation.

Naomi Lesley   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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