cover image The Trouble with Dragons

The Trouble with Dragons

Debi Gliori, . . Walker, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-9789-6

Gliori's (No Matter What ) heedless, self-centered dragons think they can treat the earth like a doormat: they overconsume and overpopulate, and they “chop down the forests/ which melts both the Poles/ and punctures the atmosphere/ full of big holes.” And as if that's not enough to turn readers green (in a good way, of course), Gliori pulls out the big visual guns: why, that's Santa himself, standing in the puddle that was once his home—and all the waterlogged presents are floating away! Gliori's impressive gifts are finely showcased: her flair for detailed, dramatic landscapes, her ability to create characters that are cute but still emotionally authentic, her conversational writing style that scores points without sounding preachy. It all adds up to a work that's both sobering and encouraging: showing chastened dragons joyfully reconciled with civil society, she writes, “There's enough to go round if we all share.” To the rapidly proliferating genre of environmentally conscious kids' books, this is a noteworthy addition. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)