Penguin/Rocky Pond. Apr. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593531754.
PreS-Gr 2–A unique and vibrant story sharing the yin and yang of Dragon and Phoenix. Dragon boasts how dragons are fierce and frightening, how they soar and can summon thunder, but after each sentence, it is clear that Dragon has a terrible cold. Phoenix tries to encourage Dragon to sip some ginger tea, take a scarf, eat bone broth, and rest. But tables turn when suddenly Phoenix starts to feel unwell, too. This is a great bedtime story to encourage little ones to settle down. It also is a perfect read-aloud with young listeners calling out the “Choo!” each time. An author’s note explains the centuries-old history of Phoenix and Dragon and how their opposing strengths and weaknesses complement one another. While the pair is traditionally compared to a husband and wife, Cheng chose to not use pronouns “in the hopes that more people can see themselves in this dynamic relationship.” Santat provides vibrant, full-page drawings of Dragon and Phoenix that bring these two characters brilliantly to life.
VERDICT This picture book is a perfect model of text and illustrations coming together to produce a stunning final product for children. Highly recommended.

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