From Publishers Weekly
In this magical bedtime tale set in a dense forest in a faraway kingdom, three wide-eyed little dragons are lonely--but not for long. Thomas (Somewhere Today) introduces a Good Knight who nightly keeps watch from a "crumbly tumbly tower" atop a "very tall wall." One night when he hears a loud roar, he hops on his horse and gallops ("Clippety-clop. Clippety-clop") to the roar's source at the mouth of a cave. There a little dragon clad in tartan pajamas asks for a drink of water. The chivalrous hero grants this request and on subsequent return trips (with a charming refrain) reads a story to a second dragon and sings a song to a third. Not surprisingly, the knight finds this routine a bit trying and his asides ("I don't believe this"; "This is too much") will sound familiar to youngsters and especially their parents. Many will be able to guess the wee dragons' final demand. In one of Plecas's (Rattlebone Rock) many droll images, the three dragons with their eyes shut and lips puckered lift "their scaly little cheeks" for a goodnight kiss. Copious artwork, controlled vocabulary, effective repetition, brief sentences and a chapter-book trim size make this a comfortable fit for children just beginning to read solo. A fine way to bid good night. Ages 4-7. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Whether used as a beginning reader or as a read-aloud at bedtime, this sweet story will charm readers and listeners alike. When the Good Knight hears a "very large, very loud roar," he sets off on his faithful steed to determine its origin. Thus begins the first of four visits to a homey cave where three lonely, young dragons are delaying their bedtime. The creatures appear more precocious than ferocious with their teddy bears, bunny slippers, and patterned "jammies." Young children will immediately recognize the tactics the wide-eyed, pudgy serpents use as each request for a drink of water, a story, or a song prompts another visit from the Good Knight. On his fourth call, the youngsters explain that they can't fall asleep without a good-night kiss. The intrepid hero kisses "each scaly little cheek" and patiently waits for them to fall asleep. Only when he hears them snoring does he head back to the castle for his own peaceful night's rest. The short, simple, repetitive phrases are sure to capture the imaginations of young children. The knight stands guard at a "crumbly tumbly tower" and gallops through the forest, "Clippety-clop. Clippety-clop." Observant viewers will enjoy the expressions of the horse as he awaits his master upon each visit to the cave. With a palette dominated by the blues, grays, and purples of the nighttime setting, Plecas's illustrations are a wonderful complement to this endearing tale.
Maura Bresnahan, Shawsheen School, Andover, MA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In this Dutton Easy Reader, a gentle knight on his castle watch gallops through the forest to investigate strange noises. The source? Three young dragons wanting to be tucked in for the night. Each has a different request--a drink of water, a bedtime story, a song--that the knight dutifully grants, then snuggles into bed with the dragons despite his chain mail and helmet. The story's appeal lies in its sheer silliness, played out through repetition and plays on words. But it is Plecas' charming, hilarious illustrations, with flannel-clad young dragons lifting their "scaley little cheeks" for a bedtime kiss, that make the book so irresistible. Gillian Engberg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Kirkus Reviews
Stories of valiant knights slaying fearsome dragons are going to fall sadly flat after one reading of this bewitching tale from Thomas. During the long evening hours, a knight keeps watch over the kingdom while in a nearby dark cave three young dragons struggle to go to sleep. A tremendous roar hastens the knight to their cave, where he is greeted not by the requisite fierce creature spewing fire, but by a small dragon who needs a drink of water. Bewildered but good-hearted, the gentle knight fetches the water and tucks the little one into bed. Twice more he is summoned by the dragons' plaintive wails, for stories and song; when he is summoned one last time, he finds that good-night kisses are in order. The weary but dutiful knight, exhausted from traipsing back and forth across the kingdom, finally succumbs to the sleep of the just. Plecas's whimsical illustrations make full use of the dragons' woeful looks and the beleaguered knight's harried expressions; children and adults will recognize the elaborate bedtime rituals, while the brief sentences and repetition of words make this an ideal easy reader. Thomas is a consummate storyteller: the language and the rhythm of the text, along with her great sense of humor, carries readers merrily along to the conclusion. (Picture book. 4-7) --Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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