Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library
by Julie Gassman
Illustrated by Andy Elkerton
Note: Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library will be released on August 1, 2016 by Capstone Young Readers. A link to pre-order is included at the bottom of this review.
My mom is a librarian, so I absolutely love stories of all kinds that take place in libraries. I was so excited to read the latest title from Julie Gassman: Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library! This adorable story shares the most important rule for going to the library: be sure to leave your dragon at home.
Gassman does a great job establishing the tone of the text. While some of the rhymes are a little clunky and would require some re-reads for true fluency, young readers can understand the point of view of the librarian and the child. However, at times the book changes speakers without warning. For example, at one point in the book the child begins speaking, but the image does not show the child speaking. No changes in font, punctuation, or text placement indicate that the speaker has changed, so children will have to pay close attention to determine that the child has become the speaker.
One of the great strengths of this book is its commitment to diversity in the images and text. In the pictures, we see children and adults of color, people with physical disabilities, and people with many different body types. As a big supporter of We Need Diverse Books, I was thrilled to see that many children will be able to see themselves in the pages of Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library.
The author also used the pronouns “he” and “she” for different dragons in the book, which reminded me off this great article from the Washington Post: Why are there so few girls in childrens’ books? This unbelievable statistic from the article seems relevant: “No more than 33 percent of children’s books in any given year featured an adult woman or female animal, but adult men and male animals appeared in 100 percent of the books.” While the book has an adult female librarian, it’s also so important that there are both male and female readers and dragons portrayed in the book. This is just another way that all children can identify with this book.
While the rhymes aren’t perfect and the speakers can be unclear, I can see this book being loved by many kiddos who are fans of dragons and/or libraries.
This book would be great for introducing rules for a school library or classroom library at the beginning of the year. It would activate interest for students and allow them to reflect on why we have certain guidelines in place during library time.
Another way this book could be used would be to talk about cause and effect. The librarian makes many arguments using cause and effect. Students could identify these examples, then make their own cause and effect examples using the scenario of a dragon in a library.
Title: Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library
Author: Julie Gassman
Illustrator: Belle Wuthrich
Publisher: Andy Elkerton
Release Date: August 2016
Price: US $14.95
Source: NetGalley – Advanced Review Copy
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book from Capstone Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own. Thanks for reading!