cover image When a Dragon Moves In

When a Dragon Moves In

Jodi Moore, illus. by Howard McWilliam. Flashlight (IPG, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-979974-67-0

Fans of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its sequels should enjoy how debut author Moore, channeling an imaginative boy at the beach with his family, muses upon the consequences of having a bright red dragon take up lodging in his sand castle. At first it's all fun and games ("'ll have a built-in marshmallow toaster"), with a little subterfuge thrown in (since there's no smoking on the beach, "you'll have to hide his smoke from the lifeguard"). But as the day wears on, the fantasy begins to impinge on others. Ultimately, the cardinal sin of the beach is committed: throwing sand at one's annoying big sister. "Then you'll march over to your sandcastle and order your dragon to leave until he learns some manners," says the narrator, who seems firm in his resolution, but who will live to pretend another day. Although it's not the freshest concept on the shelves, Moore has a light, sure touch, and she gives McWilliam (I Need My Monster) plenty of room to exercise his considerable gifts for operatic expressiveness and expertly choreographed physical humor. Ages 4%E2%80%938. (May)