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Reviewed by:
  • Attack of the Underwear Dragon by Scott Rothman
  • Natalie Berglind

Rothman, Scott Attack of the Underwear Dragon; illus. by Pete Oswald. Random House, 2020 [40p] Trade ed. ISBN 9780593119891 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 9780593119914 $10.99 Reviewed from digital galleys R 4-7 yrs

Cole writes a letter to his favorite knight, Sir Percival, to apply to be Percival's assistant knight. So touched that he cries ("That's right. Knights cry"), Sir Percival accepts Cole's proposition. Cole soon learns his knightly duties, like sharpening swords and consoling Sir Percival when the knight wakes up from nightmares about the Underwear Dragon. And then, "unfortunately, an Underwear Dragon came and destroyed the kingdom." As the knights are picked off one by one, leaving only Cole, he must use his newly acquired knightly skills to defeat the dragon, who scampers off, embarrassed, after the removal of its underwear. This readaloud is chock full of visual jokes and wordplay (Cole's lofted bed bears a "Golden Underwear Award" post-dragon defeat), and rhyming text outlines new expectations for knightly conduct: "Knights cry at sad plays and bad plays … when they get stuck on castle ceilings/ or a wizard hurts their feelings." Oswald's digital art is detailed and playful; the underwear dragon sports a smug expression and a classic pair of tighty-whiteys, and the palette is used to great effect, popping with saturated hues during happy and quirky times and becoming muted when Cole must fight the dragon. This book has a lot of reread potential, as viewers are bound to pick up on new hidden jokes each time.