cover image There's a Dragon in My Sleeping Bag

There's a Dragon in My Sleeping Bag

James Howe. Atheneum Books, $15 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31873-3

Howe and Rose, who together produced There's a Monster Under My Bed, serve up a clever variation on the imaginary-friend theme. In this case, there are two imaginary friends-one for Alex and the other for his older brother, Simon. The latter's pal, Dexter the dragon, arrives first and usurps Alex's sleeping bag, his seat at the breakfast table and his end of the seesaw. As Simon is preoccupied playing with Dexter, Alex feels left out-until Calvin appears, wearing specs identical to the boy's and blue polka-dotted sneakers on his hind legs. These two have a jolly time, but soon Calvin and Dexter are playing together, and both brothers feel excluded. Howe resolves this dilemma with characteristic humor, and manages to slip in an affectionate message. Though occasionally flat, Rose's unadorned, acrylic paintings capture both the vivacity of the two animals and the siblings' devotion to each other. A Spanish edition, Hay un dragon en mi bolsa de dormir, will be released simultaneously under the Libros Colibri imprint (-31954-1). Ages 4-7. (Oct.)