Dragon is Coming
written & illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
Do you remember the story of Chicken Little? Well, here's a variation of that classic children's tale. This time, though, it's Mouse who overhears Dog commenting on how a certain cloud looks like a dragon about to swallow the sun (no acorn involved). Mouse overreacts and goes running about, shouting to all who will listen that "Dragon is coming!" Various farm animals hear her and join in the frenzy. They become even more frantic when they see the dragon's fire (lightning) and hear its stomach rumble (thunder). Calm, rational Dog saves the day by explaining that it was simply a thunderstorm.
Gorbachev's watercolor illustrations are charming and delightful. The clouds shift back and forth between grayish fluffy things to a scary, hungry dragon, depending on who's perspective we're seeing. While it's a funny, silly, enjoyable story, Dragon is Coming also teaches some lessons about jumping to conclusions about something you hear and the danger in joining someone else's cause without learning all the facts first.