Anita and the Dragons
Author: Hannah Carmona
Illustrator: Anna Cunha
Lantana Publishing
Ages 4-8

From her vantage point on the roof, Anita watches the airplanes high overhead, and imagines they are dragons, that she, the princesa, will finally have to face. Anita and her family are leaving the Dominican Republic for a distant land where there will be baths with hot water, regular electricity, and a real dryer. But Anita’s abuela won’t be coming, and Anita will miss her beautiful island terribly. However, Anita is a valiant princesa, who conquers her fears, and meets the fearsome dragons who will fly her to her new life with courage and grace.

Anita and the Dragons is a charming book with gorgeous illustrations. Anita herself is a firecracker. I especially enjoyed the depiction of her relationship with her brothers – very realistic! and her description of her home is achingly beautiful:

“I breathe in the sea salt-drenched air deeply. I send a silent message to my island. A message filled with mango-sweet kisses; black, stormy nights; glassy, blue waves; spicy, hot heat – and sandy, snug hugs. I will see you again.”

It’s impossible to read this book without rooting for Anita, and those like her, that she and they find success and happiness in their new homes…but it’s also impossible not to feel the sadness of what they are leaving behind. Pretty good for a picture book.

Anita and the Dragons (Support an Independent Bookstore)*
Anita and the Dragons (Amazon)*

My thanks to Lantana Publishing for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.

More books for this Age Group can be found here.

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