The Truth About Dragons

Jaime Zollars. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-48148-9
Dragons are in the eye of the beholder in this solo debut. Zollars lures readers in with a suspenseful scene of a girl approaching a misty, turreted castle filled with them: “The stories about dragons are true,” the narrator intones. The beasts come closer as the child cowers: “Dragons tower and hover and smother.” A page turn reveals a tone-changing fact: “their socks don’t always match.” Dragons, it emerges, are a lot like children, raucous in the cafeteria and loud in the library. Little by little, the illustrated creatures morph into human children, now the girl’s peers. One spread shows a dragon with a soccer ball bearing down on the girl and her companions. A page turn visualizes his point of view: he’s a human boy, and she’s the dragon. Zollars’s use of evocative action verbs (“they swagger and crow”) makes for taut descriptions, while the transformation of objects (dragon skin becomes human clothing, the towers prove a playground castle) provides food for thought in this exploration of how people perceive those they don’t know—and how wrong those perceptions can be. Ages 4–8. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/16/2020
Release date: 09/15/2020
Genre: Children's
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