Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dragons Rule, Princesses Drool! by Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Dragons Rule, Princesses Drool! by Courtney Pippin-Mathur
Little Simon: Simon & Schuster

Rating: 5 stars

My kids and I became fans of Courtney Pippin-Mathur years ago when we came across Maya Was Grumpy, a book where a girl's hair becomes wilder and wilder as she becomes grumpier and grumpier. With the help of one clever grandmother, both her mood and her hair are tamed. In addition to loving her work as an author/illustrator, Courney Pippin-Mathur helped me out at the Great Falls Writer's Day about two years ago, leading a workshop for young author/artists. What did these children do? They created their own dragons, then wrote stories about them. This book had just been sold, and dragons were on Courtney's mind.

But now, the book is finally out!

Dragons Rule, Princesses Drool! starts out with one small dragon, who wants to believe in his own strength and magnificence and importance. His flames "blasted into the sky, frightening everyone who came near!"

"Well, almost everyone."

"Well, almost everyone."
Except for two princesses. Our little dragon deems them "dangerous creatures" and watches in horror as his dragon playmates put on ruffled clothes and let the princesses fly on their backs. Although the dragons try the princesses's ways, they princesses can't seem to master the dragon's favorite things to do. They cannot eat dragon peppers. They cannot not burp. And they cannot breathe flames. Watching the transformation from mighty to silly of his dragon friends, our little dragon fears that the land will never be the same again--dragons will never rule like they once did!

He needs help, so he goes to the royal knight--who turns out not to care one bit about the princesses. He wants the dragons!

With all of his dragon buddies caught up in one big net, our little dragon has no one but the princesses to turn to for help. And you'll love how they help the dragons: with one big giant, flamey BURP!

The way this book plays on and dances around gender norms and expectations is cute and sweet and important. And, in the end, our little dragon is friends with the very princesses he first plots against. That sort of ending is not just satisfying for readers of this book, but also is pretty normal in real-life childhood adventures.

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