Review by Booklist Review
Little Cedric the dragon's preparations for bedtime include a ritual familiar to parents everywhere: a story and a child's plea to read it Again! When his mother first reads the storybook the text of which appears throughout she recounts the tale of Cedric the dragon, who has nocturnal adventures and never, ever goes to bed. When Cedric insists that she read it Again! mom obliges but changes the text to read Cedric SHOULD be asleep, while the third iteration includes Cedric the dragon's a big sleepyhead. By the fourth reading, mom starts snoring on the job. That's when our cute green dragon, wide awake and furious, turns red and lets out a roar burning a hole right through both the storybook and through also the physical book (a die-cut extends through the boards of the back cover.) Gravett takes a slight idea and builds cleverly upon it to offer a fresh take on a familiar scenario. Hand Geoffrey Kloske's Once upon a Time, the End (Asleep in 60 Seconds) (2005) to kids and parents who get a kick out of this one.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 3-Gravett's latest experiment with metafiction imagines the possible trajectory of a child's appeal to hear a bedtime story ad infinitum. Here, the characters are dragons. The mother begins energetically: "Cedric the dragon's a bright angry red./He's never,/His whole life,/(Not once) been to bed." This nocturnal picture-book beast terrorizes princesses and trolls. In the second reading, a sleepy mom takes a more judgmental tone, and the hero is hospitable. By the fourth version, she and the storybook characters are snoring; "z's" fall from the printed page. Meanwhile, the listening Cedric has undergone a color and personality transformation. White and placid on the endpapers and green during the beginning (in contrast to his angry, red textual counterpart), he and his doppleganger gradually reverse colors. While the titular refrain appears throughout (including on two subtly different title pages), the repeated word is part of a full-blown temper tantrum at the conclusion. The book is shaken and turned upside down, causing the composition to tumble to the edge. Steaming mad, the protagonist burns a hole in the page (and the back cover) through which the characters escape. Gravett differentiates the story lines of her oil-based pencil and watercolor compositions by using a brighter palette and more detailed features against the white background of her main narrative and deeper shades and parchment-colored pages in the book Cedric loves. Youngsters will delight in deciphering the visual narrative in their own multiple readings and will relate to the range of emotions displayed by their scaly stand-in.-Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Gravett, whose stories often include surprising die cuts and satisfying metafictive elements, takes the I-don't-want-to-go-to-sleep trope to a new, fiery level. The book begins on the front endpapers with a little dragon starting its bedtime routine. On the second title-page spread (yes, there are two), readers get the feeling that things are not what they appear when the dragon, clutching a book, winks at them. The creature snuggles in to hear the book -- a tale of a dragon named Cedric who has "never, / His whole life, / (Not once) been to bed." Uh-oh. After the reading, our little green dragon sweetly makes the request most small folks do when faced with bedtime: "Again?" The dragon parent, completely draggin', reads the story again, but abridges it. This causes the book's illustrations to shift, as does the appearance of the increasingly impatient little dragon (e.g., as the story changes and the parent's eyes droop, the creature takes on an angry red hue). Soon the little one turns fully red, screams to have the book read again, and, in a raucous burst of flames, breathes a (die-cut) hole into the end of the book. Though it's hard to think that human child readers will want to sleep after this abrupt yet satisfying ending, it is clear that they will be screaming "AGAIN!" robin l. smith (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Gravett, that master of the metafictive die cut, returns for a savvy bedtime satire. It's time for this little green dragon's bedtime story. Clutching a blankie, it snuggles up to its parent dragon for the story of fierce Cedric the red dragon, who wreaks havoc every night. "Again?" pleads the little dragon, holding up the red, clothbound storybook (readers who remove the paper jacket will see that it's exactly the book that they are holding). The patient parent reads it again, with a little editorial revision: "At nighttime when Cedric SHOULD be asleep." And again: "Cedric the dragon's a big sleepyhead. / He's decided it's time / HE WAS REALLY IN BED." With each iteration, the storybook's illustration changes, and Cedric transforms from a fire-breathing terror to a princess-kissing softie. At the fourth, parent dragon conks out, the ZZZs from its snoring mingling with the few letters on the storybook's page. Enraged, the little green dragon begins to turn red, shouting, "AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!" Fully red after several futile repetitions, it puts some firepower behind its final "AGAIN," burning a hole through the last page and back cover. The storybook characters escape, luckily (and, though unseen, so does parent dragon, human parents will no doubt note). This little bit of bedtime foolery feels a little incomplete, but it should strike a chordand it's far wittier than the similarly themed Go the Fuck to Sleep. (Picture book. 3-6)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.