Have You Seen My Dragon?
Steve Light. Candlewick, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6648-4
Expressive line drawings fill the pages of this counting book, a love letter to the streets and sights of Manhattan. The boy who narrates is small figure with a round head, but his dragon is a magnificent creature that loops its elaborately scaled body and sinuous neck around and through New York’s architectural landmarks, always just out of the boy’s field of vision. On each page, everyday city objects are picked out in one color on the otherwise black-and-white pages (“11 manhole covers”; “12 pigeons”). Vehicles, street food, and even under-the-street wiring get attention as the boy searches on. Readers can spot the dragon sailing the river like the Loch Ness monster (“It’s possible he went for a swim”) or posing fountainlike in the middle of the zoo’s monkey cage. One neighborhood in Lower Manhattan lends itself especially well to dragon habitat; there the boy’s search ends. Light’s (Zephyr Takes Flight) creation will appeal to Manhattanites and those outside the borough alike. Details missed the first time through the book will bring readers back for more. Ages 2–5. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/2014