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The Dragons are Singing Tonight


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About the Author

Jack Prelutsky is the best-selling author of more than fifty books of poetry, including The New Kid on the Block, illustrated by James Stevenson, and Stardines Swim High Across the Sky, illustrated by Carin Berger. Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington State. Peter Sis is an internationally acclaimed author, artist, and filmmaker. Among his works are three Caldecott Honor books: The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain; Tibet: Through the Red Box; and Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei. He has illustrated five other novels by Sid Fleischman, including the Newbery Medal book The Whipping Boy. He lives with his family in New York State.


Gr 1-4-A combination of author, illustrator, and subject that is certain to have a great deal of appeal. Dragons are verbally and visually portrayed in this collection with wonder, whimsy, and a touch of wistfulness. The 17 poems are presented on large double-page spreads with a delightful juxtaposition of the ancient and modern, real and imaginary. Gold tones appear throughout with the addition of symbols and images from the poems in the border frames. The oil and gouache paintings on a gesso background have marvelous details and unexpected bursts of humor. Although not all of the entries have Prelutsky's rollicking read-aloud quality, the richness of his language and the playfulness of the imagination are abundant; and Sis's illustrations are charmingly unique, sometimes deceptively simple, and certainly filled with the kind of playful wizardry that invites viewers to return again and again to these pages.-Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

"This book is irresistible." -- "The Horn Book""A must for dragon fanciers." -- "Kirkus Reviews" "It's tempting to quote nearly all the 17 poems." -- ALA "Booklist""Dragons are verbally and visually portrayed with wonder, whimsy, and a touch of wistfulness." -- "School Library Journal""Prelutsky and Sis outdo themselves....An enchanted pairing." -- "Publishers Weekly"

Prelutsky ( Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast ) and Sis ( An Ocean World ; Komodo! ) outdo themselves with this fanciful series of poems about dragons. Prelutsky wrings a range of surprising verse from a seemingly limited theme. Stock images get a face-lift: in ``A Dragon's Lament,'' for example, the narrator declares, ``I'm tired of being a dragon, / Ferocious and brimming with flame, / The cause of unspeakable terror / When anyone mentions my name.'' An unerring sense for rhythm lends punch to the light verse, while more atmospheric selections, like the title poem, conjure up a fantasy world, where dragons come out of their lairs and ``sing of their exploits of old / Of maidens and knights, and of fiery fights / And guarding vast caches of gold.'' Sis adds a new depth to Prelutsky's poetry. The artist's trademark antique gold borders enclose dramatically colored full-spread oil and gouache paintings. Old-fashioned imagery collides happily with whimsy: a Tenniel-style girl ``walks'' her leashed dragons, which soar in the air like kites; an ailing scaly dragon, reclining in its fairy-tale-like stone house, sips from tanks of gasoline; a goggle-wearing pilot in an open-air cockpit steers a mechanical dragon made from charmingly low-tech components (an umbrella serves as propellor). An enchanted pairing. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)

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