Written and illustrated by David Biedrzycki
Charlesbridge Publishing | 2011
“Some kids want a dog. Others would like a cat.” But Hameer wants… “a dragon!” And Hameer is smart enough to know that getting a dragon is just like getting any other pet: you have to choose which kind you want carefully, bring him to the doctor for his shots, name him (Sparky!), give him a home, feed him, and bring him for walks. And, just like any other pet, if he’s a naughty dragon, he might have to go to obedience school. Unlike other pets, though, Sparky can act as the campfire on camping trips, melt all the snow in the neighbor’s driveways, and may accidentally terrorize the kite-flying community. He’s also a great friend to have around in case of bullies or Brussels sprouts.
I cannot begin to express how very much I love this book—the joys are too many to count. The story is endearing, quirky, fast-paced and just so incredibly funny. And the play of text and illustration! Biedryzycki masterfully builds text that needs illustration and illustration that adds so many layers to the book. Each page has tons of things to look at and enjoy from the intraiconic text, to a mouse living in Hameer’s room, to the reactions of pets and people near Sparky. Both Hameer and Sparky, through text and illustration, are exciting, active, and completely round characters. And, for the love of all things children’s book related, check out the endpapers! In general, a joy. And a book I’ve been reading three times a day.
Siân Gaetano is, before all else, a reader. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Children’s Literature at Simmons College (to be finished in Summer 2013) and working evenings serving the good people of Boston food and beverage. She was an editorial intern at Charlesbridge for the Fall 2012 semester.