by Emily Gravett (Author) Emily Gravett (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A little dragon and his favorite book make for a combustible combination in this clever picture book with a surprise ending.

It's nearly Cedric the dragon's bedtime, and for Cedric, bedtime means storytime! When his mother reads him his favorite book, he likes the story so much that he wants to hear it again...and again...and again!

Cedric's mom understands that the best stories are ripe for repetition, and she tries very hard to be patient. But sometimes dragons will be dragons--which is why this bedtime tale ends with an incendiary surprise!

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School Library Journal

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

Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Emily Gravett
EMILY GRAVETT is a two-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal with Wolves and Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears. Her internationally award-winning picture books include Meerkat Mail, Tidy and Old Hat. She has illustrated bestselling fiction, including Matt Haig's Evie and the Animals and a full-colour edition of Quidditch Through the Ages.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date
April 20, 2013
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV047000 - Juvenile Fiction | Books & Libraries
JUV010000 - Juvenile Fiction | Bedtime & Dreams
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
JUV002270 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dragons, Unicorns & Mythical
Library of Congress categories
Books and reading
Greenaway Medal
Nominee 2013 - 2013
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
Recommended 2014 - 2014
Virginia Readers Choice Award
Winner 2015 - 2015

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