Publication Date: September 11, 2012
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In her bed in her room in her castle, a girl longs for a dragon.
In his nest in his cave in his mountain, a dragon dreams of a girl.
When a lonely dragon follows a trail of princess tears, a beautiful friendship is born. They march and sing, roar and whisper, hide and seek, then settle into snug companionship at bedtime. Barbara Joosse’s fiercely protective and gently loving dragon cavorts across the pages, endearingly illustrated by Randy Cecil. At the end of the day, who can resist curling up in the embrace of a lovabye dragon?
Barbara Joosse has written many books for children. Among them are Mama, Do You Love Me?, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee; and I Love You the Purplest, illustrated by Mary Whyte. She says, "When I was a little girl, I wished for two things — a best friend, and something so ferocious it would scare away the monsters under my bed. And so I have written Lovabye Dragon. I think maybe it’s for little me." Barbara Josse lives in Wisconsin.
Randy Cecil has illustrated more than twenty books for children, including Brontorina by James Howe, And Here’s to You! by David Elliott, and My Father, the Dog and How Do You Wokka-Wokka?, both by Elizabeth Bluemle. He is also the author-illustrator of Duck and Gator. Randy Cecil lives in Houston.
[An] ever-so-sweet picture book... Joosse’s poetic, lyrical text is chock full of beautifully cadenced rhyme and repetition, including wonderfully inventive rhymes. . . Cecil’s softly textured illustrations have charm in spades, and the bug-eyed dragon himself takes the term loveable to a new dimension. Children will likely ask for this one over and over at bedtime, and may fall asleep wishing they, too, could be snuggled in the curl of a dragon’s tail.
—Booklist (starred review)
Is Joosse paying homage to a classic mid-century children’s author, or just channeling her? Either way, this beautifully bubbly poem sounds a lot like Margaret Wise Brown at her best. . . There are moments of saucy wordplay and reassuring images of steadfast love. Cecil’s stylized, angular figures stand in visual contrast to Joosse’s rounded prose-poetry, but the palette of muted grays and blues is just right for this lullaby of a book.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)