cover image The Library Dragon

The Library Dragon

Carmen Agra Deedy. Peachtree Publishers, $16.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-56145-091-6

When an elementary school advertises for a ""thick-skinned professional"" who is ""on fire with enthusiasm,"" it gets just that-and then some. A bespectacled, dress-wearing dragon, Miss Lotta Scales replaces all the books with spanking clean ones, and refuses to let the students (""with their gooey fingers and snotty noses"") touch them. The kids' grades are ""going up in smoke,"" but neither the principal nor the teachers can convince the headstrong dragon to let the pupils near the stacks until one myopic girl accidentally wanders into the library and begins to read a story (``Snuff the Magic Dragon'') aloud. The tale manages to soften the librarian's scaly skin-figuratively and literally. Deedy (Agatha's Feather Bed) is an accomplished storyteller, and kids will likely enjoy her frequent puns and wordplay. White heads off imminent cutesiness with droll, stylized illustrations, filled with vibrant color and lots of comical details. Ages 6-10. (Oct.)