Little Lion Loves Dragons & Dragons Love Tacos = Little Lion Loves Tacos?
As you may have noticed, Little Lion is fond of dragons. It all started with the Dragon Masters series by Tracey West that she discovered when her bestie, Honey Lemon, was reading the first book in the series at school. At the time, Little Lion wasn't allowed to check out that book for homework because it was above her reading level. Well, what do you do when someone says something is above your level? You step up to the plate--and Little Lion did just that. She asked us to check out the book for her and she proceeded to 'up' her reading skills.
Fast-forward to our family trip to Colorado last February when LL brought all four of her Dragon Masters books and we watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 with my nephews. When my girls were heartbroken over leaving their cousins and the rest of the family, my SIL let her take my nephews' extra Toothless dragon to my in-laws' house. And then Toothless subsequently came home with us. (Thank you, boys!) Toothless just solidified Little Lion's love of dragons.
I've seen Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (published 2012) all over the place. And my SIL told me that my nephews really enjoyed it as well. But I have to admit that I was on the fence about buying it until Little Lion insisted when we were at the Festival of Books last week.
Dragons Love Tacos is a fun read that incorporates the fantastical with the mundane while also leaving room for your little one to question "Why can't dragons eat spicy salsa?" I love that Salmieri incorporates all types of dragons in his illustrations, and I especially love the (spoiler alert!) spread of the dragons re-building the house together. And I love the concept of dragons having such a strong love for a specific food, especially if it gets my Little Lion to eat tacos. She usually will choose quesadillas (plain!) but has been spreading out to burritos (meat and rice only!) and occasional tacos.
But while I love the concept of the book and I love certain sections of the book (checklist of appropriate taco toppings), I'm not a huge fan of the execution. I wanted more to happen, or for there to be more tension in the story. I also wanted more expressions in the faces of the dragons, or for the spreads to feel as though there was more action going on. It's hard to criticize a best-seller, but there was just something missing for me.
On the other hand, Little Lion was thoroughly delighted. And, yes, she DID eat that taco that she is feeding Toothless in the top picture. So, overall WIN-WIN.
Rating: This is a tough one. I would say middle shelf for me, but I know my Little Lion would place it on the bottom shelf. And I would have labeled this book as a 'Borrow it!' book, but we clearly just bought it and our family has enjoyed reading it over and over and over again this week. But our bookshelves are overflowing, so there you go. I'm a bibliophile, clearly.
Ages: Toddler dragons on up. If your 2 year old can sit still and loves dragons and/or tacos, this book is for you. But if you have a wiggly dragon, you may have to wait until they are 3 or 4 years old.
Sidenote: If your little one or Little Lion loves dragons, Merry Makers Inc. makes the red dragon as a plush. They have a lot of bookworm favorites. We gifted the Captain Underpants and Construction Digger one to my nephews and they were delighted. And, of course, we own Duck and Goose.
FYI, even though I gave a mixed review, I am very much looking forward to the sequel that is being released today, especially as it involves time-traveling dragons. I love a good time-traveling story. And, yes, we will likely be buying the book.
Dragons Love Tacos 2 Summary (from Amazon): News alert! It has just been discovered that there are NO MORE TACOS left anywhere in the world. This is a huge problem because, as you know, dragons love tacos. If only there was a way for the dragons to travel back in time, to before tacos went extinct. Then they could grab lots of tacos and bring them back! It’s the perfect plan, as long as there’s no spicy salsa. You remember what happened last time . . .