cover image Gondra’s Treasure

Gondra’s Treasure

Linda Sue Park, illus. by Jennifer Black Reinhardt. Clarion, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-544-54669-1

Gondra is a little dragon whose father is from the East, where dragons are blue and green, breathe mist, and fly with magic. Her mother comes from the West, where dragons have bronze scales, breathe fire, and fly with wings. The parents engage in some friendly rivalry about their respective backgrounds: Mom thinks her husband’s mist “seems... um... pretty boring”; Dad points out that he never complains about tired wings during a flight. But their mutual adoration of Gondra makes her proud to embody qualities from both of her parents—and confident that she’ll grow up to be a dragon living on her own terms. Writing in the chatty voice of her protagonist, Park (Yaks Yak) captures the easygoing, day-to-day intimacy of a family animated and anchored by unconditional love. Some of the larger and more elaborate watercolor, ink, and collage drawings by Reinhardt (Sometimes You Fly) lack focus, but Gondra is wonderfully imagined: the epitome of “ugly-cute,” she’s bright-eyed, adventurous, resilient (flying is problematic right now, but she’s certain she’ll get the hang of it) and, in her red-striped footie pajamas, utterly huggable. Ages 4–7. [em](Apr.) [/em]