A Poor Excuse for a Dragon by Geoffrey Hayes
(Step into Reading)

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"Punchy dialogue and compact sentences should make this a read-aloud delight."—Publishers Weekly

"Part-slapstick, part-fairy tale, the gently humorous plot has enough twists and turns to keep newly independent readers engaged."—School Library Journal

Fred the dragon has a list of tasks he must complete in order to be a successful dragon—none of which comes naturally. But he's determined to make #5—eat people—work. Before you can say "pass the salt" he's gobbled up three people even though he doesn't have the stomach for it. Luckily a local shepherd, with the help of a giant and a witch, knows how to cure what ails him and get those pesky people out of his belly. It's happily-ever-after for everyone in ways you'd never expect.

Geisel award-winning author/illustrator Geoffrey Hayes is a stepped reader maestro. The common threads between his wildly popular Uncle Tooth and Otto SIRs and the more recent Benny and Penny series (Toon Books) are clear and constant. The art is adorable, the characters are bursting with personality, and the stories are humorously subversive. From marauding pirates to misbehaving mice to a dragon who swallows people whole (and then continues to communicate with them in his belly!), Geoffrey always hits that sweet spot for the stepped reader audience—easy to decode, illustrative tales that tickle the funnybone.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Geoffrey Hayes

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Geoffrey Hayes has written and illustrated more than forty children's books, including the popular series of Otto and Uncle Tooth Mysteries (Step into Reading), the beloved Bear By Himself, and the Patrick Bear books. In 2010 Geoffrey received the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for Benny and Penny in the Big No-No.
Published August 23, 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers. 48 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Nature & Wildlife, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Poor Excuse for a Dragon

Kirkus Reviews

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Cartoon illustrations, especially details like the dragon’s red eyes and the giant’s warts and earring, help the newly independent reader follow the story, providing lots of visual cues which add the humor.

Aug 23 2011 | Read Full Review of A Poor Excuse for a Dragon (S...

Publishers Weekly

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Punchy dialogue (castle cook Mrs. Green is, in particular, a spitfire) and compact sentences should make this a read-aloud delight, while Hayes's (the Benny and Penny books) cartoons, in which these classic fairy tale characters resemble toys, add significant fun of their own.

Jun 27 2011 | Read Full Review of A Poor Excuse for a Dragon (S...

City Book Review

And I’m not scary,’ said Fred.” Since dragons are always a favorite with young readers, I’m sure the title itself will first attract them to A Poor Excuse for a Dragon.

Dec 07 2011 | Read Full Review of A Poor Excuse for a Dragon (S...


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