Warren and Dragon: Scary Sleepover, Book 4
Ariel Bernstein, Author
Mike Malbrough, Illustrator
Viking Books for Young Readers, Jun. 25, 2019
Suitable for Ages: 5-8
Themes: Sleepover, Fears, Homesickness, Family relationships, Imaginary friends
Opening: Some people might think that having a dragon for a pet is scary. I guess it sounds like it might be scary, because of the fire breathing and all, but I have a dragon for a pet and most of the time it’s pretty normal. Except when Dragon does his weird dancing jig. That’s always terrifying… He’s my pet.
Warren’s friend Michael just got a cool new tent as a present. It’s too cold to go camping outdoors, so Michael invites Warren over for a sleepover where they can camp inside.
At first Warren is excited. They’ll order pizza, play foosball, and make ice-cream sundaes! Then they’ll go down to the basement, crawl into their sleeping bags inside the tent and tell scary stories. Gulp! The more Warren thinks about sleeping somewhere besides his own safe bed, the more worried he gets. And his sidekick, Dragon, isn’t exactly reassuring.
But when Warren confesses his concerns to his friend Alison, he realizes that he isn’t the only kid nervous about sleepovers. The two of them make a pact to face their fears. But will Warren be brave enough to camp in a dark basement that creaks and groans and listen to Michael’s scary stories?
Why I like this book:
This clever new chapter book series is realistic, heartfelt and delightful. It is the fourth Warren & Dragon chapter book by Ariel Bernstein this past year. Sleeping overnight at a friend’s house for the first time can create a lot of anxiety for children. What if I get homesick? What if I get scared? What if I embarrass myself if I want to go home? This fast-paced book is the perfect read-aloud at home or school. It is a great discussion starter for kids nervous about sleepovers.
Bernstein tackles this early right-of-passage with humor and authenticity. Warren’s character is a tad quirky and naïve, but believable. He is opposite of his outgoing twin sister. Warren’s imaginary marshmallow-loving, side-kick, Dragon, is quite the prankster and is good for many chuckles. Warren’s friendship with Alison is supportive as they come up with a pact and a plan. Mike Malbrough’s pen and ink illustrations are expressive and fun.
I like that the author shows diverse families with Warren’s friend, Michael, having two moms. It’s always special when kids can see a family like theirs, whether it is a single parent, grandparent, two dads, or in this case two moms. Kudos to the author.
Ariel Bernstein loved sleepovers growing up, and was only afraid there wouldn’t be enough pizza and ice cream. Other books in the series include: Warren & Dragon 100 Friends; Warren & Dragon Weekend with Chewy; and Warren & Dragon Volcano Deluxe. She is also the author of I Have a Balloon and Where is my Balloon? Visit Bernstein at her website.
*Copy reviewed from a library copy.