Today, Kid Lit Reviews is pleased to welcome a young man with either a wildly creative imagination or one of the most interesting best friends a boy can have by his side. We’ll call him “Big Brother” since his newest story centers around the addition of a new family member in the form of a drooling, crying, bundle of poop.
Jodi Moore and Howard McWilliam made a splash with When a Dragon Moves In, their sandcastle story of a young boy who finds a dragon has moved into his sandcastle. They have a glorious day at the beach, swimming, flying kites, and a causing little mischief.
Now, in When a Dragon Moves In Again, the dragon has moved into the young boy’s home where they continue the fun. But with mom pregnant and soon to give birth, life changes for the two friends. Here to talk about what happened is Big Brother and Dragon.
I see you’ve brought your young friend with you. Hello there.
Boy: “Hi, Miss Sue!”
Hi! How about I call you “Big Brother?”
Boy: “That’s me!”
Last time we saw you two was on a sunny beach. After building a great castle, Dragon moved in. Young man, how did Dragon get from the beach to your home?
“Well, I wanted Dragon to sit next to me in the car, but we couldn’t get his seatbelt to fit, so he had to fly. I told Dad to drive extra slow so my dragon didn’t get lost.”
* nods * “Heh-heh-heh.”
Dragon, you and your young friend help Dad build a new castle. It is a cool castle and it looks like you were having a lot of fun playing in it. Why did you have to stop?
* tugs at Miss Sue’s pant leg * “Do you speak Dragonese, Miss Sue?”
No, I don’t. I suspect it involves a lot of fire.
“I can translate for you if you’d like.”
That would be terrific.
Dragon: * whispers into Boy’s ear *
Boy: “We’re not allowed to play in the crib anymore because we might step on the baby. But when he gets older, we’re going to build awesome castle bunk beds and then we can have epic Dragon and Knight adventures! En garde!”
“The baby will be my squire. You can’t be a knight until you’re a big kid. Like me.”
The baby arrives and it is a boy! I bet you were thrilled to become a Big Brother. What is the best thing about being a big brother?
“He laughs at my silly faces instead of saying,
* places hands on hips and imitates Mom’s voice *
“Stop that or your face is gonna freeze that way!”
My mom used to say the same to me. Guess what? My face never froze.
I noticed two of you tried your best to entertain the baby, but Mom and Dad were not thrilled. Then mom says it’s time for you to take a nap! Dragon, your little buddy replied,
“Naps are for babies, not for big boys like me and dragon.”
Dragon, why did you follow the baby upstairs and take a nap? Wasn’t that being disloyal to your friend?
Dragon: * shakes head, distressed — whispers in Boy’s ear *
* yawns *
“I guess even Big Brothers and Dragons have to nap sometimes. Dragon loves me and the new baby. He loves our whole family.”
* rolls eyes * “Even my big sister.”
Dragon: * encircles Boy like a Dragon donut and sighs with contentment *
Little brothers can be pests—I know, I have one. Big Brother, what is the worst thing about your little brother?
Boy: * holds nose * “He’s pretty stinky.”
“Dad says he’ll learn to use the potty someday, but I dunno. He’s lived with us for a couple of months now and nothin’. Has your little brother learned yet?”
Nope. He still needs a diaper! Ha, ha. Mostly, I didn’t like all the attention he grabbed.
Boy: “Sometimes I feel sad or mad when Mom and Dad are too busy to play with me. But mostly, I don’t like to share Dragon.
“I wish the baby would get his own.”
.Dragon: * curls even tighter *
Sharing is hard. What is the BEST thing about your little brother?
Boy: “The best thing is I get to teach him important life stuff like how to dunk French fries in your milkshake, how to burp words and how to build perfect castles. So he can, you know, get his own Dragon. But first I have to teach him how to sit up by himself. Right now, he’s like a lump of stinky Jell-O.”
.I bet he falls over a lot, too. Your singing soothes little brother. What is the name of the song?
Boy: “I like to sing him the Winnie the Pooh song, only I sing Baby the Pooh, ‘cause he smells like poo. Get it?” * giggles uncontrollably *
Ha ha!! I do get it, very funny.
Dragon, here’s a question for you. Why are young boys hard to train?
Boy: “Dragon says he doesn’t know what you’re talking about. I’m perfect.” * crosses fingers behind back *
You are the second dragon I have had the pleasure to interview. I have one question that has been nagging me for a while. Why are storybook dragons reddish-orange?
Dragon: * whispers in boy’s ear *
“Most people think it’s because Dragon’s filled with fire, but he says the real reason is he loves orange marmalade on his peanut butter sandwiches. Some dragons are reddish-orange because they like tacos. My friend Elijah’s dragon loves hot dogs.”
Boy: “Dragons like to eat.
“Some even like to swallow Knights!” .* roars *
“Then I threw up.”
That’s just . . . yucky!
Do you think the illustrator, Howard McWilliam, did you justice when portraying you in the book?
Boy: * scrunches forehead * “He drew more than “Just Us”. He drew my whole family. See?”
* opens book to show Miss Sue the inside front cover *
“I drew a picture and sent that to Mr. Howard so he would know how to draw us. He did an awesome job. If I were a teacher, I’d give him an A plus infinity plusses. Infinity is the biggest number ever. Even bigger than a hundred.“
Boy: “Build a castle so you can have your own Dragon! Also, if you’re making sandwiches, you should know Dragons don’t eat crusts. Even orange ones.”
Dragon: * nods, then whispers into Boy’s ear *
Boy: “Dragon says more people need to believe in dragons. How would you feel if nobody believed in you?”
Wow, I would feel horrible. But I DO believe in dragons! I also love your newest story.
Where can people (and dragons) get their own copy of When a Dragon Moves In Again?
“Ooo! Ooo! You can get Dragons at your favorite bookstore, like the one my aunt and uncle own, or at a store like Barnes & Noble, or you can order them online through a store or Amazon. I love going to bookstores! But if you go, make sure you wash your sticky hands after you finish your treat from the snack section or you might get a Time Out.”
I hope there are more new stories on the horizon. Any hints to what might be next?
Boy: “Me too! I’m ready to share lots more adventures! But Mom says next I have to take a nap. Even though I’m a BIG BOY.”
Nap time, huh? Well, then it’s time to say goodbye. Thanks for stopping by and chatting. Maybe next time you can teach me Dragonese.
* looks off to side * “Miss Sue? My author, Miss Jodi, wanted to thank you for inviting us here today and she wanted me and Dragon to give you a big heart-squishy hug from her! May we? Please?”
That would be nice.
I want to thank the author, Jodi Moore, for all of her help and for the wonderful, expressive answers her characters gave today. Also, I want to thank Ms. Moore’s editor at Flashlight Press, Shari Dash Greenspan, for her guidance as this was put together.
You can find Jodi Moore at her website: http://www.writerjodimoore.com/
And, of course, I want to thank Howard McWilliam, the illustrator who created these wonderful images.
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: When a Dragon Moves In Again and When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore and Howard McWilliam is published by Flashlight Press. Dragon and Knight’s interview answers by Jodi Moore. Images copyright © 2013/2015 by Howard McWilliam. Dot Day “Celebridot” © 2015 by Ben Mantle. There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klosterman. Random House Children’s Books.This post is for entertainment purposes. Any opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”