Tag Archives: dragons

Day 14, book 14: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Tacos are special to me. Is it because tacos were one of maybe three dinners my mom made when I was a kid that I actually got excited about? (Gracias Old El Paso, for providing a safe dining experience in my childhood world of tuna casseroles and stews and frikadellers, the infamous Danish meatballs that haunt me to this day). It might be the memories, but I think my true taco love is a more recent development, since my hubs is a dynamite taco making man. His mushroom tacos are killer. As it happens, I am also a fine churro-maker. And so we fell in love and have delicious fiestas whenever possible. (I promise I will eventually get to Dragons Love Tacos, but it would be selfish of me not to mention that this cookbook

will make you a very happy person if you enjoy tacos and churros and other Mexican delights. Plus it is pretty to look at. You should have it).

I was not aware that dragons have much the same feeling for tacos as I do. Thank you Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri for making this fact clear to all of us. Now I like dragons even more than I did before. If you’re planning to entertain some dragons, you will be needing a boatload of tacos (and taco balloons, if Salmieri’s illustrations are any indication). There’s just one very important thing to remember. Keep that salsa mild, because you do not want to see what happens if those dragons get into the hot stuff. Seriously.

Dragons Love Tacos is one of those picture books that will amuse parents as much as their kids. You’re reading this one for fun, not for deep insight. Not everything has to be thought-provoking, right? But the silliness of the premise is not so silly that grown ups will lose interest. Actually, it’s “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” clever more than it is silly, and the style and colour of the illustrations create an understated look that should fit right in on any hipster kid’s bookshelf.

If this book doesn’t inspire a whole lot of Dragon / Taco themed birthday parties, then I’d be very surprised. Now that is my kind of party.

Dragons Love Tacos is published by Dial Books for Young Readers. And it has tacos on the end pages. No drooling please.

Day 3, book 3: A Gold Star for Zog by Julia Donaldson

School starts for me tomorrow, which means that teachers in my neck of the woods are fully stocked on gold stars. We are ready to hand those puppies out! I would like to suggest A Gold Star for Zog as the perfect First Day of School read for dragon-loving little people and the cool teachers who seek their admiration. Imagine reading this book at the end of the First Day and then sending every kid in your class home with a gold star. You are now the Best Teacher Ever. It’s simple folks, honest.

On Day 2, each of them could write about something they’re good at, something that is “gold star worthy.” They could make a whole list of things. You could take pictures of their proud smiling faces! Can you say bulletin board for Curriculum Night? Done and done.

It is probably impossible not to feel cheery when you read a picture book created by this dream team. Julia Donaldson’s clever rhymes and Axel Sheffler’s super bright, cute-as-all-get-out illustrations are about as kid-pleasing a combo as anything you could dream up. But this is no fluffy tale, without substance. In fact, there’s quite a lot to dig into here, in terms of big ideas. Zog is a total keener. He wants to win a golden star hard, really hard. But, flying leads to crashing, roaring gives him a sore throat, and fire-breathing means setting your own wing on fire. So you can imagine how capturing a princess goes. Good thing the princess is anything but ordinary. Princess Pearl isn’t afraid of dragons; she wants to help them. In fact, it is her dream to be a traveling doctor. Enter Sir Gadabout, an unconventional knight. Everyone and everything comes together in as neat and satisfying a finish as any of Donaldson’s rhymes.

It’s about being different, finding your groove, staying true to your dreams, and discovering that friendship matters more than being the best. All of that and rainbow bright dragons too? Give this book a gold star already.

Here’s a glimpse into Axel Scheffler’s creative life, and a video with Julia Donaldson talking about going beyond the Gruffalo.

A Gold Star for Zog is published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Scholastic.