cover image Return of the Library Dragon

Return of the Library Dragon

Carmen Agra Deedy, illus. by Michael P. White. Peachtree, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-621-5

This pun-soaked, technology-themed sequel to The Library Dragon lands nearly 20 years after the first book. Miss Lotty is about to retire from her post as school librarian when a man named Mike Krochip replaces all the books in the library with computers, announcing that the space is now a “cybrary.” Distraught students spring to the defense of print books (“And books smell! My favorite book smells like spaghetti,” says one boy). Outraged, Miss Lotty morphs back into her dragon persona, Miss Lotta Scales, roaring, “You bring back every last library book or I’ll melt your motherboard!” The arrival of the sweet-tempered new librarian—the very girl, now grown, who helped diffuse the dragon in the earlier story—placates Miss Lotty in this installment, too. Rendered in airbrush and featuring electric colors, White’s stylized caricatures border on garish, and the book-themed puns tucked into the illustrations (The Rat in the Hat, The Molar Express) are weak. Despite some concessions to the value of technology in the final pages, this story arrives feeling like a relic. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)