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Argus Hardcover – February 22, 2011
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When Mrs. Henshaw hands out eggs for her students to hatch in their desktop incubators, Sally points out that hers looks different. The teacher replies, “Don’t be difficult.” Determined to complete the science project, she overlooks the obvious in the events that follow: a green, dragonlike creature (Argus) hatches from Sally’s egg; grows to an enormous size; and threatens to eat the “other chicks” and even the kids themselves. When Argus gets lost, though, the whole class goes to the rescue. With deadpan storytelling that serves the humor well, the writing concentrates on classroom activities and Sally’s reactions. Argus’ true identity goes unmentioned in the text but is unmistakable in the pictures. Children are left to draw their own conclusions. With clean lines and muted colors, the ink-and-watercolor artwork illustrates the story in a most engaging way, magnifying the humor but keeping the absurdity in check. This pleasing picture book is fun for reading aloud. Preschool-Grade 3. --Carolyn Phelan
About the Author
Michelle Knudsen is the author of the New York Times best-selling picture book Library Lion, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, as well as the middle-grade fantasy The Dragon of Trelian. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Andréa Wesson has illustrated several books for children, including two middle-grade novels about Evangeline Mudd by David Elliott. She lives in Potomac, Maryland.
Top customer reviews
I found the story to be a clever tale, with Sally's teacher, quite oddly, refusing to accept Argus as anything other than a peculiar chick, despite the fact that the story takes place in a science class. Everyone loves a dragon, so I think this book will prove to be very popular with the children.
"'Good work, children,' said Mrs. Henshaw. `Now let's investigate what our little chicks like to eat.'
`Mine likes seeds!' said one boy.
`Mine likes beetles!' said another.
`Mine is trying to eat the other chicks,' said Sally."
Cute artwork, and the potential for a cute storyline, but it didn't rise to the occasion, and this book ended up being a waste of money.