“Magoon’s exuberant art recalls classic characters, most particularly Max in his wolf suit…Fanciful pretend play for the dragon-slaying preschooler.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The dark color palette and mischievous nature of the text are reminiscent of Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back (2011)—albeit with a different final outcome.” —Booklist
From the award-winning author of Warning: Do Not Open This Book! and beloved illustrator Scott Magoon comes a suspenseful and darkly funny new picture book about a creature who resists the urge to eat the animals that wander into his cave…at least for now!
Theodore thinks everything is a potential meal. Lucky for the bird, wolf, and tiger, who pass by his cave, Theodore isn’t hungry…yet. But then something new approaches. A boy. Has Theodore found a new favorite food? Or something more?
As Theodore debates eating the noisy animals that pass by his cave, Magoon (Breathe) delivers laughs using nothing more than the creature's eyes shifting left and right, all that readers can see of him. Theodore decides against eating the animals, but when a boy with a hobbyhorse and garbage lid shield roars in Theodore's face, Theodore emerges, a hulking red dragon. The boy is undaunted. He shines his flashlight in Theodore's eyes and pokes at his snout with his wooden sword. "That's it!" Theodore snarls. "I will eat you!" Magoon's bold, angular, digitally rendered drawings capably juggle action, suspense, and comedy. After boy and dragon dash through a patch of flowers and emerge with floral crowns, the boy bursts out laughing. "It's hard to eat someone when you're sharing a laugh," Theodore realizes. By focusing on Theodore's thoughts and perspective, Lehrhaupt (Chicken in Space) adds unexpected nuance to this David and Goliath story it's not clear who's the aggressor and who's the victim. What is clear is that size doesn't matter and laughter trumps fear. Ages 4 8.