With the recent election results, I have been wracking my brain for a kid-friendly way to promote kindness and diversity via a picture book story. I know of many books already published that do a lovely job, but I believe we need more all the time, and I want to write one. While I will keep thinking of just the right idea for my voice, I was pleased to find a new example in my weekly library hunt – dear Dragon by Josh Funk and illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo (Viking, 2016).
Dear Dragon is told in rhyme via letters the two main characters write to each other for a school assignment. It’s a delightful story about two reluctant pen pals who develop a bond through their correspondence. Montalvo’s watercolor, ink and graphite illustrations are both bold and whimsical, sure to delight lovers of dragons. This is a fun story to read with a subtle, yet profound message: We can be friends with a dragon, if we just take the time to get to know one. Young readers are smart enough to use this example in their lives, taking its message to heart. I hope adult readers are wise enough to share it with them.