Dandelion’s Dream by Yoko Tanaka; illustrated by Yoko Tanaka. 2020. Charcoal and digitally colored. Published by Candlewick Press.
Brief summary: Dandelion leaves the meadow of yellow flowers and rides on a train where she continues her journey on the back of a sheep. She keeps traveling until she reaches the city. Dandelion watches a film about airplanes which encourages her dream to ride on a real one. Dandelion changes which allows her to fly to the moon.
Comments: Dandelion is a flower that has four paws, a tail, and a lion’s head. I’ll probably see this character every time I come across a dandelion growing in my yard.
This picture book is a story without words.
The Night Library by David Zeltser and Raul Colón. 2019. Published by Random House.
Brief summary: A young boy receives a book on the eve of his eighth birthday and is not pleased. He goes to bed only to wake up in the night by purring of a white lion sitting in the snow outside his window . The boy goes outside and is greeted by Fortitude who gives him a ride through the moonlit city to the New York Public Library where he takes the boy inside the empty building. Familiar books move about the library making different shapes. Patience, another white library lion, joins them as the boy remembers his grandpa reading several of the books to him. Patience decides that it is time the boy returned home as Fortitude goes back onto his place in front of the library turning into a statue again.
Comments: Author’s Note in the back tells about the lion statues that were planned by Edward Clark Potter with the Piccirilli brothers carving them from pink Tennessee marble. After several earlier names, they were later named by a New York City Mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, during the Great Depression to help people remember important virtues to get through hard times. Patience and Fortitude stuck.
The NYP Library’s slogan is “Read Between the Lions”.
As a school librarian, I would read this book to students during National Library Week being sure to pair it with the photos of the lions outside of the library.
For more information about the lions: https://www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/library-lions
A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins; illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins. 2016. Brush marker, gouache, graphite, colored pencil and charcoal
Brief Summery: A child assumes the lion has been eating the creatures as they slowly disappear from the story, but all along, they all have been preparing to throw the beast a surprise party. The lights go out, and he does eat them. The lights come on, and there is a T-Rex standing there who eats the lion. The turtle survives it all by pretending to be a rock. The ending suggests another story with a little turtle eating a large cake.
Comment: I plan to use this book when I talk about about story predictions. There are several times in the book that I could stop and ask the students if they could predict what would happen next in the book.