HAVE YOU SEEN MY DRAGON?(Candlewick Press, $16.99, Ages 2-5) written and illustrated by Steve Light, is reviewed by Ronna Mandel.

⭐︎School Library Journal – Starred review

0763666483

 

East Side, West Side, all around the town …

Steve Light’s charming and clever counting book, Have You Seen My Dragon?, takes us all over Manhattan soaking up the sights and counting various things found there. Light’s latest book was a recommended read by book buyer and author Catherine Linka and now I’m sharing her tip with you.

And speaking of tips, Light’s book includes numerous modes of transportation kids want to see in a busy city: taxis, subway cars, bikes, boats and buses, all for the counting – there are 16 subway cars and 17 taxis in case you were wondering! Whatever item is being counted is highlighted by being the only color on an otherwise detailed black and white page. What a marvelous way to grab kids’ attention and pull them back in again and again to search and savor every lovingly drawn line.

I’m a former New Yorker so I especially appreciated this free ride to my hometown. As readers we wind our way all around the Big Apple with a little lad who is searching for his pet dragon. The beauty of this picture book is how Light has created a captivating counting story using inviting pen-and-ink illustrations that yield beautiful surprises as young readers seek and find the cheeky dragon. All the while your child may be looking out for the hidden-in-plain sight dragon, you’ll be noticing humorous little gems that Light’s illustrated to keep you on your toes.  Take the monkey, for example, just under the dragon fountain. He’s reaching for the zookeeper’s keys!

From Central Park to China Town, with patches of pinks and reds and purples scattered throughout the pages, there is simply so much to see and enjoy in Have You Seen My Dragon?  I have no doubt you’ll agree that this picture book has everything youngsters want in a picture book and then some. Enjoy your trip!

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