Review of How to Ride a Dragonfly

How to Ride a Dragonfly How to Ride a Dragonfly
by Kitty Donohoe; illus. by Anne Wilsdorf
Primary    Schwartz/Random    40 pp.
5/23    9780593175644    $18.99
Library ed.  9780593175651    $21.99
e-book ed.  9780593175668    $10.99

In this whimsical how-to, a young child in a red dress with white polka dots follows the offstage narrator’s instructions, beginning with how to shrink: “Put a rose petal in your pocket at sunrise, near a riverbank where dragonflies live.” The girl is cautioned to return to the same spot by sunset or the spell will be permanent. Next, she uses a blade of grass to lasso a well-dressed dragonfly named Priscilla. Together, the two joust with a bumblebee (“thistle spears make good jousting lances”), meet the queen bee, and enjoy tea with fairies since “dragonflies are often invited to parties.” There are some close calls: an angry fairy attempts revenge for her stained clothes, and a hungry frog nearly catches Priscilla. Soft watercolor and ink illustrations match the text’s fanciful tone; the engaging pond creatures bring liveliness to this magical world.

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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