Liza Jane & the Dragon
"This enjoyable book delivers a lesson, and its playful drawings invite the young reader into a wonderful place somewhere between fantasy and reality."
--New York Times Book Review
"A girl frustrated with her parents' rules fires them and hires a dragon to take their place."
--Publishers Weekly, Included in Fall 2018 Announcements
"While mystery writer Laura Lippmann's debut picture book, Liza Jane and the Dragon (Akashic, Oct.), illustrated by Kate Samworth, actually is being marketed towards children, it's also an allegory for the 2016 election. Liza Jane is a little girl who fires her parents and hires as her new parent a fire-belching dragon that drives away her friends and looks suspiciously like Trump."
--Publishers Weekly, Included in Roundup of Political Books related to Donald Trump
"Laura Lippman, who is best known for her gritty thrillers for adult readers, has written her debut picture book, Liza Jane and the Dragon, illustrated by Kate Samworth, definitely for children. Adult readers, however, will likely recognize that this isn't simply a tale about a girl and her dragon; it's also an allegory of the 2016 election: Liza Jane fires her parents and hires a dragon with an orange mane to be her new parent."
--Publishers Weekly, Included in feature on Trumpian Political Humor
"This appealing debut picture book is enriched by the strategic use of color in Samworth's dreamy illustrations, and kids will roar at the dragon's outrageous antics. This delightfully quirky read deserves a place in most collections."
--School Library Journal
"Written with an impressive originality by Laura Lippman and illustrated with the exceptionally artwork of Kate Samworth, Liza Jane & the Dragon is unreservedly recommended."
--Midwest Book Review
Included in the Bay Area Reporter's Fall 2018 Reading Guide
"Bestselling crime fiction author Lippman's picture book debut tells the story of what happens when Liza Jane fires her mom and dad and hires the first applicant who comes to the door to be her new parent. The only problem is that the dragon has only one response to all problems: opening his mouth and belching fire. No one wants to play with Liza Jane. And all that fire is bad for the furniture."
--Publishers Weekly, Included in The Big Indie Books of Fall 2018
"Silly, funny and a joy to read. The illustrations are great, too. Get a copy for your little one, they'll read it more than once!"
--Journey of a Bookseller
Liza Jane believed she could find better parents. So she fired her mom and dad and hired the first applicant who came to the door--what could possibly go wrong?
And at first everything was fun. The dragon did whatever Liza Jane wanted him to do. But it turned out the dragon had only one response to all problems--opening his mouth and belching fire. Suddenly, people were scared of Liza Jane. The pizza delivery man didn't want to come to her house. No one wanted to play with her. And all that fire was very bad for the furniture.
Could Liza Jane have been wrong about what kind of qualities she wanted in a parent?
In crime writer Lippman's picture book debut, Liza Jane's parents tell her every day that she's a lucky girl. She does have a bed with a canopy, a fish, stars on her bedroom ceiling, and six princess dresses in her dress-up box. Even with plenty to be thankful for, though, Liza Jane is dissatisfied. Tired of being ignored and interrupted by her parents, she fires them and puts up an ad, then hires a green-scaled, yellow-haired dragon who applies for the job. After growing tired of eating pizza every day (the dragon can't cook), having tangled hair (the dragon's claws make it impossible to hold a brush), and always arriving late for school (dragons can't tell time), Liza Jane realizes that a dragon especially one who reacts to all adversity with fiery flames and a frequent, unapologetic refrain of "Hey, I'm a dragon" isn't a satisfying replacement for her parents. Unfortunately, the tone feels a tad prescriptive for a tale with no real message. Illustrations by Samworth (Aviary Wonders) feature an amusingly expressive dragon and colorful protagonist against intentionally drab background scenes. Ages 5 8. Author's)