From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-George sees dragons everywhere he looks, but they are "ignored and overlooked," just like he is. He likes the creatures, and feeds them, but soon becomes weary of cleaning up after them. He goes to the library in search of a solution, finds a map, and proceeds to build a machine to help him lead the beasts back to where they belong. The child's parents, who are never pictured, finally notice that he is gone, find him, and celebrate his return with a cake and a new dog- or is it a dog? Anderson uses color in the soft paintings to reinforce the emotions of this little boy who blends into the background of the pictures and his world. He and his dragons appear in muted tones while the details around them are often brightly colored. The creatures are appealing and mischievous but George seems to fade even as he takes action to deal with his problem. The huge flying dragon he builds is dark and sinister, and George flies it into a desolate setting. The illustrations brighten when his parents find him, and become lighter still when he is home and "no longer ignored or overlooked." This book is unsettling and a bit heavy-handed, but children will enjoy the dragons, the humor, and the upbeat twist at the end.Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-3, younger for reading aloud. The creators of The Tin Forest
(2001) reunite for another atmospheric tale. Only lonely George notices the dragons large and small, hanging from telephone lines, peeking from storm drains and pocketbooks. Worse yet, once he feeds them, they become real nuisances, following him everywhere: "Something had to be done." With information gleaned from The Encyclopedia of Dragons
, he learns where they belong, builds a complex flying machine, and leads them back to their wilderness home. Using diffuse colors and stippled textures reminiscent of Peter Sis' art, Anderson creates a diaphanous green-and-golden world inhabited by small George; smiling, tubby, bat-winged dragons; and a sprinkling of adults who are generally shown only from waist down. When George's flyer crashes in the dragons' land, his newly attentive parents rescue him, and then present him with a "dog," whose spiked tail only George seems to see. George's feelings of isolation are strongly captured in the art, and the book's typeface and page design give this slightly tongue-in-cheek escapade an appealingly elegant look. John PetersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved