Book Review: Again!

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Author & Illustrator: Emily Gravett

Age Level: 4-7 years

Publishers: Simon And Schuster Books For Young Children

ISBN: 9781442452312

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We love Emily Gravett. So when I saw “Again!” on the bookshelves, I couldn’t resist picking it up for our home library. The story is one familiar to most parents.

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A baby dragon wants his mother to read a bedtime story over and over again. The bedtime story is about a dragon called “Cedric” who has never once been to bed. Oh-oh! I have two Cedrics at home!

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The mother dragon feels tired and is ready to fall asleep. She does what all mothers do—she shortens the story and changes the lines to send subliminal messages to the baby dragon.

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Unfortunately, the baby dragon is immune to all this psychological warfare. Momma falls asleep while the baby dragon turns red, literally!

The ending was a shock alright! What can a baby dragon do but test the waters by burning the pages? After all breathing fire is a rite of passage for dragons. Not very different from the toddler who loves a tantrum.

My kids (and I) were completely taken aback by the hole in the final pages, including the book cover. Be prepared for a gazillion ‘But whys…’ If you find the right answer, let me know and I can use it too! There is no resolution in the story. That means you can’t use this book to make a moral statement on why children should let mommies sleep or why they should go to bed early.

In spite of this shortcoming, this book is an excellent addition to your collection. The rhyming and rhythmic text is funny, and the twists really get your kids thinking about the book. “But mommy, trolls are not really shy, are they?” Okay, okay, so I have to have the troll talk, real versus fake. I will wait for a few more years on that one.

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