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It was all in his head, said the boy’s mother. There was no dragon in the closet. And she went downstairs, but not before the boy saw…

Much as I loved the idea behind “There’s a Dragon in My Closet” and its wonderful theme of imagination, there was one thing that I wondered: will kids understand it enough?

With a catchy rhyme that starts out fun, author Taylor tells the story of a boy and his dragon. Quite frankly, the story stays at a level of “fun” well enough, but some of the language seemed more adult-like than childish. Kids may not completely comprehend the story because of it, and that may be a distraction for an out-loud reader.

But never mind—come for the imagination, and stay for the artwork by Palmer. I can’t say enough about that part of this book: it’s colorful, in sweeping-blendy tones and bold marks. Just—wow.

Keep your eyes on the little boys’ t-shirts, by the way. You’ll be charmed, and so will your 3- to-6-year-old. He’ll love “There’s a Dragon in My Closet,” and who could blame him?

(“There’s a Dragon in My Closet” by Dorothea Taylor, illustrated by Charly Palmer, c.2017, Bolden, $17.95/$25.95 Canada, 32 pages.)

 

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