Again! by Emily Gravett
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Lynn: The older boys of our focus group LOVE Emily Gravett’s wonderful and wacky picture books and we can’t wait to introduce her newest, Again! (S&S 2013) to Henry, the youngest member. Henry, like many little readers, loves to have books read over and over and over – especially at bedtime. And that is exactly what Gravett’s little dragon demands.
The fun starts with the end pages, showing a small green dragon getting ready for bed and then, clutching a red dragon-print blanket, bringing a red book to its parent. (Peek under the paper jacket and see if something looks familiar). They snuggle in and the large dragon reads the story of Cedric, the bright red dragon who never sleeps. “Again?” begs our little dragon and the parent reads the story again, although this time it is slightly altered and shorter. “Again?” pleads the little dragon and each time the parent complies with a shorter version until, apparently draggin’, the parent falls asleep after two sentences.
The small dragon must be in the terrible two’s because a classic temper tantrum comes next with roaring AGAINs ricocheting off the pages, its little green body turning red. In a final melt-down moment, it shoots flames right through the book, leaving a singed hole. The boys were falling off the couch laughing and we all agreed that Henry will love this funny tale – again and again and AGAIN!
Cindy: I have to give props to S&S for the great book-making here. Emily’s story and illustrations are fabulous as Lynn describes but the care that went into making this such a nice finished book is evident throughout. There’s the special book cover under the paper jacket, the singed hole in the cover, the great end papers, and the duplicate title and verso pages. That cracked me up. AGAIN, anyone? Like every parent, I read and reread favorite books. My younger daughter only wanted the big book of baby photographs that had rhyming text running under each sequence. I tried to skip some of the lines but she had them memorized and stopped me if I tried to speed up the rereading. Adults who get tired of reading this book again and again might be able to distract their young dragons with this drawing lesson by Emily Gravett so they can draw their own Cedric: