Rating: 4 stars
"You bought our kids a stoner book?!" my husband said when he saw this book.
"It has such a sad ending!" my mother said when I told her I bought it.
This book sure has a bad reputation! I guess that's exactly why I hadn't even thought to read it to Lorelei or Ben. Until, that is, my cousin Stephanie suggested that I put it on my mother's shelf for all her grandkids to read. I thought it was worth checking out. So I did. Literally.
I got the big book from the library, a book full of fantasy-filled illustrations, done by the talented Eric Puybaret. The book was big--an oversized hardback--but the pictures on the pages made the book seem even bigger. I won't quit my (unpaid) day job to sing, but I admit I can carry a tune just fine. My kids like to hear me sing, so they were spellbound when I sang the book to them, and turned the pages of this beautiful book as the verses floated around them.
The song made the book a different experience for them, and Lorelei has been humming the tune a lot, looking for the book to fill in the blanks when she forgets the words. ("I don't want to sing it like you do, Mommy: 'Little Jackie Paper, something something something..." She is so right. I always forget the words to songs!)
|Puff, the magic dragon, / lived by the sea,|
And frolicked in the autumn mist / in a land called Honalee.
But illustrator Eric Puybaret saves the day and keeps Grammy's tears at bay. In the last two pages, he paints in a young girl who clearly replaces the turned-into-a-muggle Jackie. Puff is happy again with his new playmate, new adventures, new cycle of childhood.
I think that Steph is right, this is a great addition to your shelf, especially if you can carry a tune and can sing it to your children. Pick up the board book version at your local Wegmans while grocery shopping, just like I did yesterday.