Ellie’s Dragon by Bob Graham

Children’s authors … do you relish making parents cry? No really. Do you feast on our tears?

Look, Ellie’s Dragon by Bob Graham is a beautiful book about the wonders of imagination and the bittersweet nature of growing up. It’s lovingly illustrated and oh-so-sweet, but to this mama whose twins are growing up way too fast, it packed one hell of a punch. Cue: THE FEELS.

Ellie’s Dragon is about the special bond between a little girl & Scratch, the tiny baby (imaginary) dragon she finds as a toddler. The book follows Ellie and Scratch as she grows older, and how their relationship changes as she starts school, makes new friends, and starts to grow up. It’s such a sweet story about imagination, imaginary friends, and the bittersweet beauty of growing up.

As it happens, I just took my kids in for their 9 month check-up this week, and as we were leaving, the doctor said, “Well, we’ll see you when they’re a year old!” It’s a wonderful thing to see your kids growing and learning, but I also mourn the stages we’ve already moved past and the ways in which I’ll never get their littleness back. Anyway, yeah, I was already deep in my Feels when I read this book, so it really packed a punch. As my mom friend Rebecca would say, it made me super “emosh.”

This beautiful book is available now. Many thanks to Candlewick Press for providing the review copy. Here is the official synopsis:

When Ellie is very small, she finds a lovable newborn dragon on a carton of eggs in the grocery store. Ellie calls him Scratch, takes him home, and moves him into her dollhouse. Her mother can’t see Scratch, and her teacher doesn’t notice when Ellie brings Scratch to preschool, yet her friends are amazed. Ellie is lucky to have an affectionate, house-trained dragon like Scratch! But dragons get quite large as they grow. And Ellie is growing, too, moving from dollhouses to dance parties, not noticing that Scratch’s brilliant green scales are beginning to fade a little. . . . Beloved picture-book creator Bob Graham illustrates the joys of imagination and friendship in this touching story. With his signature gentle wit and warm, whimsically detailed illustrations, he captures the bond between girl and dragon, as well as the changes that come with time’s passage. A wistful, quietly thought-provoking tribute to the friends who appear when we need them most, even if it’s just for a little while.

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