Friday, April 8, 2016

PPBF: Have You Seen My Dragon?

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Gorgeous concept book, Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light

Have You Seen My Dragon? Written and illustrated
by Steve Light
Candlewick, 2014
Ages 3-6, 48 pp.

Concept, Counting, Colors

Have you seen my dragon?
No? I will look for him.

A boy asks the doorman of his apartment building where to find his lost dragon. The boy then searches all of New York City for his missing dragon, though readers will find the dragon on every spread. As the boy searches, he notices other aspects of the city, and so the book additionally becomes both counting book and color primer. At last the boy finds his dragon in a most fitting location.

What I Love:
Every inch of the every page is covered with black and white ink drawings of the minutiae of city life. This is the kind of book I loved to pore over as a kid. The dragon is not hidden as in Where's Waldo, but that doesn't make this book any less of a game. The boy counts from one to twenty as he travels to each new location: 2 hot dogs, 3 buses, 4 sailboats, etc. The artist highlights those objects with color — the only color in the book. A simple yet lovely new take on traditional concept books.

Okay, nobody's going to make
 this crazy-complicated dragon snack
 from  ArtOfNutrition, but it sure is awesome!
1. You'll find great interviews from Damon Young, Matthew Winner, Joanna Marple, and Jules Danielson.
2. Check out Steve's newest book, Swap! It uses a similar style: black-and-white with limited color, but in a fascinating new way. You can read about it at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
3. Here's a photo of a much less complicated dragon made of cupcakes.
4. CassArt has gorgeous and kid-friendly ideas for starting a sketchbook like author/illustrator Steve's.
5. I highly recommend Ed Emberley's drawing books and his website for fun and easy drawing lessons (for dragons and everything else) for ALL ages.
6. Mommy Poppins lists 40 fun activities for kids for your next staycation to New York City.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Barbara
Reviewed by Erik

Reviewed by Laura
Reviewed by Julie

Reviewed by Susanna

Reviewed by Joanne

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, April 8, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. What a fun dragon book. Sounds like a journey for the boy. I love the use of black and white, with a splash of color. Great activities.

    1. Thank-you. It's a great concept for younger readers, and I see this as a book kids will want to hang on to when they get a little older.

  2. Replies
    1. His work is so cool. I'm excited to be taking his workshop in NY next week!

  3. The dragon cupcake and snack are amazing! Wish I was artistic! I put this book on hold. Looking forward to reading it after your review. Thanks for the other dragon book suggestions too.

    1. Thank-you. I like the way the book is designed as well as the art. I forgot to mention the endpapers have cool maps, too.

  4. What a fun book! I haven't reviewed any dragon books for PPBF, but Dragon's Love Tacos would be worthy of a review. In fact, I think someone did it a week or two ago. :)

    1. Thanks. I think you're right. I'm sure I saw someone's review of Dragons Love Tacos. If you loved this book, you might want to read Have You Seen My Monster? or Swap! both by Steve Light.

  5. I love the idea of a search book where the reader looks for something enormous! It opens up questions for children to wonder what else could be lost that is as big as a dragon or what steps they took when they lost something. I can't wait to read this book!

    1. Steve's new book, Lucky Lazlo, coming out later this year, will have dozens of hidden goodies. We got a sneak preview at an SCBWI event on Tuesday. It looks to be his best book yet!


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!