Cover image for Lovabye dragon
Lovabye dragon
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick, 2012.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 28 cm.
Added Author:
"When a lonely dragon follows a trail of princess tears, a beautiful friendship is born. They march and sing, roar and whisper, hide and seek, then settle into snug companionship at bedtime"--


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY JOO 1 1
Book EASY JOO 0 1
Book EASY JOO 1 1
Book EASY JOO 1 3

On Order



In her bed in her room in her castle, a girl longs for a dragon.
In his nest in his cave in his mountain, a dragon dreams of a girl.

When a lonely dragon follows a trail of princess tears, a beautiful friendship is born. They march and sing, roar and whisper, hide and seek, then settle into snug companionship at bedtime. Barbara Joosse's fiercely protective and gently loving dragon cavorts across the pages, endearingly illustrated by Randy Cecil. At the end of the day, who can resist curling up in the embrace of a lovabye dragon?

Author Notes

Barbara Joosse has written many books for children. Among them are Mama, Do You Love Me?, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee; and I Love You the Purplest, illustrated by Mary Whyte. She says, "When I was a little girl, I wished for two things -- a best friend, and something so ferocious it would scare away the monsters under my bed. And so I have written Lovabye Dragon. I think maybe it's for little me." Barbara Josse lives in Wisconsin.

Randy Cecil has illustrated more than twenty books for children, including Brontorina by James Howe, And Here's to You! by David Elliott, and My Father, the Dog and How Do You Wokka-Wokka?, both by Elizabeth Bluemle. He is also the author-illustrator of Duck and Gator. Randy Cecil lives in Houston.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-Once there was Girl, perhaps a princess, who longed to have a dragon for a friend. "Oh, she cried silver tears/many, many tears/so wishing for a dragon/so lonely for a dragon," and those tears trickle out of the castle to a distant mountain where Dragon wakes from his dreams. He follows the silvery trail back to the girl waiting in her lonely room, and they go to a shell-strewn beach where Dragon makes a fire. He wraps his tail protectively around her and Girl sings to him. On a very fine final spread, Girl rides on Dragon's back through the drifting clouds of a starry night. The fairy-tale setting, lilting repetitive verses, and whimsical characters are wonderfully done. Oil paintings, using a blue, gray, and gold palette, suggest that a toy dragon and three shiny soldiers with swords drawn have come to life, giving an added dimension to the text. This satisfying tale of two forever friends is both a comforting bedtime story and affirmation that sometimes dreams do come true.-Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Is Joosse (Old Robert and the Sea-Silly Cats) paying homage to a classic mid- century children's author, or just channeling her? Either way, this beautifully bubbly poem sounds a lot like Margaret Wise Brown at her best. "Once there was a girl," it starts, "an all-alone girl/ in her own little bed/ in her own little room/ in her own little castle/ who didn't have a dragon for a friend." The princess doesn't fear dragons; she's pining for one, weeping decorous tears that flow "past a boat in the moat/ past a frog in the bog" and finally to the dragon, who shows up at her door like a faithful dog, ready to adore her. There are moments of saucy wordplay ("On the outside, Girl is little./ On the outside, Dragon's biggle") and reassuring images of steadfast love ("and he wraps his tail around her/ so gently, all around her"). Cecil's (Horsefly and Honeybee) stylized, angular figures stand in visual contrast to Joosse's rounded prose-poetry, but the palette of muted grays and blues is just right for this lullaby of a book. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

A lonely young princess (well, shes called a girl, but the family portraits in her castle show crowns) yearns for a friend -- a dragon friend. Fortunately, in a cave under a mountain, a real dragon is dreaming of a girl for a friend. Once the "all-alone" girls lonely tears make their rhyming way from her castle to his cave ("past a boat in the moat / past a frog in the bog"), the dragon follows them back (reversing the rhyming sequence); happily, the fact that hes much the louder and larger of the two in no way inhibits their joyful play together. Readers neednt notice that the dragon represents the power of imagination, nor that he embodies the possibility of befriending someone different; those thoughts are nicely embedded in the story, and Joosses buoyant verse keeps the mood light. Cecils jaunty, toylike characters are amusingly angular; his dreamy nighttime palette of gray-blue and -green oils suits the lullaby mood of a bedtime charmer that should be equally at home with a rambunctious morning group. joanna rudge long (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

When the tears of a young princess trickle onto a dragon, a sweet friendship is born. With lovely lilting words, Joosse creates a friendship born out of loneliness and tears between a young princess who longs for a dragon and a friendly dragon who dreams of a girl for a friend. The beginning half of the story builds up to their first meeting, as the girl weeps a stream of tears and the dragon follows it across the landscape to her room in the castle. "I am here!" roars Dragon. "You're a dear!" whispers Girl. The dragon is big, the princess is little. Though great, their differences on the outside are no match for the bond of friendship that helps keep the monsters away. The remainder of the book is a love fest of happiness and togetherness, as the two friends find each other and find out about each other. Strong musicality in the text makes for a sing-along feel, almost like a nursery rhyme. "Snore-asleep was the dragon / dream-asleep was the dragon / but the trickle of tears / little tickle of tears / woke him up. / Gluk!" The oil-painting illustrations are muted and hazy, giving the tale a dreamlike quality full of nighttime blues, browns and purples. With on-the-dark-side skin and stylized pigtails, the princess has enough ethnic ambiguity for refreshingly inclusive appeal. A strong and hopeful tale. (Picture book. 3-6)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Lullabies and dragons don't typically go hand in hand, but why shouldn't they? In this ever-so-sweet picture book, a little girl in a little castle is lonely because she lacks a dragon friend. Luckily, a big dragon in a big cave is lonely because he doesn't have a girl in his life. When the girl cries silver tears of longing, they trickle past a teeny-tiny mouse in his teeny-tiny house, past a boat, a frog, and so on, until they wind down to a snore-asleep dragon and plop onto his nose, rousing him from slumber. Dragon, who is an exact replica of the girl's stuffed animal, follows the trail of tears, all the way to the little girl's bedroom, and what happens next will melt kiddie hearts everywhere. Joosse's poetic, lyrical text is chock-full of beautifully cadenced rhyme and repetition, including wonderfully inventive lines, such as, On the outside, Girl is little. On the outside, Dragon's biggle. If that's not selling-point enough, Cecil's softly textured illustrations have charm in spades, and the bug-eyed dragon himself takes the term lovable to a new dimension. Children will likely ask for this one over and over at bedtime and may fall asleep wishing they, too, could be snuggled in the curl of a dragon's tail.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist