cover image One Drowsy Dragon

One Drowsy Dragon

Ethan Long, Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-16557-0

In a striped orange stocking cap and clutching a teddy bear, the eponymous main character of Long's (Tickle the Duck!) catchy counting tale can't catch a break when it comes to getting some rest. "One marching dragon/ clanging on a cup./ One drowsy dragon mumbles,/ ‘Don't wake me up!'/ Two noisy dragons battle:/ Zonk! Whirl! Bleep!/ One weary dragon moans,/ ‘Please let me sleep!' " On it goes, with the sleepy dragon, much larger than the noisy little ones, getting more frustrated and occasionally resorting to yelling. Parents will recognize that the tired and cranky dragon could easily stand in for a worn-out mom or dad; younger audiences will appreciate the bouncy beat and the full-color, cartoon-styled illustrations that sequentially depict 10 very oblivious and raucous dragons finding increasingly noisy ways to entertain themselves: tap dancing, wrestling, making a berry shake ("Whirrrrrrrr..."), etc. Plenty of onomatopoeic words fill the scenes, especially in the double spread of "nine rockin' dragons" jamming in a band. Families be warned: preschoolers may be indefatigable in their requests to hear this one over and over. Ages 3–5. (Aug.)