Synopses & Reviews
Freddie is a little dinosaur that wants more than anything to know what clouds are like. Gingersnap is a little dragon that wishes more than anything to fly. When Gingersnap in a failed first attempt at flight falls right on top of Freddie, the two glare at each other. Then they growl and hiss at each other. But when their individual howls and stomps find a common rhythm, their attempts at aggression transform into a dance of friendship and brings each of them that much closer to realizing his or her dream.
Freddie is a green dinosaur, Ginger-snap is a purple dragon, and their species normally "stayed as far away from each other as possible." But fate, gravity, and Kirsch (The Chandeliers) bring them together, and after some initial posturing they uncover a mutual love for noisemaking ("they snip-snapped their sharp tiny teeth"), chasing, and attempting to fly. And when it really counts-whether they're falling off a cliff (depicted in a vertical gatefold) or finally taking to the air-the two friends are there for each other. Kirsch's na f drawing style gives the spreads a kooky 1960s feel; his characters' slight, childlike bodies, long spiny tails, and saucerlike eyes are undeniably adorable. The story is hard to track, however, and its lackadaisical use of sound cues and repetition ("Fredddie swirled and twirled and whirled. Gingersnap whirled and twirled and swirled") comes across more like an attempt to cover up a lack of story than a means to draw readers in. In many ways, this reads like a setup to a series, and not a standalone work. Ages 4 6.--PW
PreS-Gr 2 A dinosaur and a dragon share similar dreams. Freddie yearns to have his "head in the clouds" like the bigger dinosaurs and Gingersnap longs to flap her wings and fly. When she lands on him during a failed attempt at flight, a standoff ensues: "They stared eye to eye. They scowled and they growled. They clicked the pointed claws on their fingers CLICK! CLICK! and they clacked the pointed claws on their toes CLACK! CLACK!" Freddie catches Gingersnap just before she falls over a cliff, and fold-down pages show the dramatic descent. While reflecting among the thistles and thorns, the pair decide to join forces and scale new heights together. Kirsch's fluid watercolor and ink illustrations are beautifully choreographed. Like their legendary dancing namesakes, this high-stepping duo dances cheek to cheek (with purple and green tails intertwined). This stylish tale of an unlikely friendship has an infectious rhythm. Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada--SLJ
In a failed attempt at flight, Gingersnap the dragon falls on top of Freddie the dinosaur. The two express their mutual disdain-with scowls and growls, clicks and clacks, snips and snaps, howls and stomps-until both plummet off a cliff into thistles and thorns. Changing tactics, they try cooperation instead. With Freddie's help, the young dragon learns to fly, and Gingersnap cements the relationship by rescuing the dinosaur, too. The creator of Forsythia and Me (2011) and Two Little Boys from Toolittle Toys (2010) adds another friendship story to his oeuvre. In Kirsch's ink-and-watercolor universe, these lanky partners differ mostly in hue (Freddie is green; Gingersnap, fuchsia), as together they move almost as one-as did the pair's inspirations, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Young listeners are sure to enjoy the text's vivid aural language and the Little Shop of Horrors style illustrations-one in particular depicts the two friends' cliff descent through a three-page-length vertical gatefold. This makes a good story hour choice, with lots of potential for creative drama. - Kay Weisman--Booklist
Dinosaurs and dragons don't usually mix, but when little Gingersnap's wings fail her up in the clouds, she crashes right into Freddie down on the ground. A face-off transpires. Bobbleheads, overbites and almost identical bodies make the impending fisticuffs immediately comedic and cute. Gingersnap's minuscule bow, holding a single lock of purple dragon hair, doesn't hurt either. The scrawny tykes feud and fight across a spiky, barbed world of primordial plants, big-eyed bugs and fanged lizards. Readers will eagerly explore this densely populated environment while giggling at Freddie and Gingersnap's silly skirmish. Finger and toe claws "click" and "clack"; teeth "snip" and "snap." Lively onomatopoetic action words run throughout, appearing within the artwork in purple and green block letters that correspond nicely with Freddie's moss-green and Gingersnap's plum-purple body. A dramatic foldout depicts these little bodies clinging together at the edge of a precipice and then landing ("PLIP! PLOP!") in a thorn patch. Freddie's encouragement helps Gingersnap get her wings moving, and the two of them make their way out of the brambles. To children who scowl at the opposite gender (Are they a different species or what?), Freddie and Gingersnap's rivalry makes perfect sense, as does the way it evolves quickly into a blurred angry/fun game of chase and eventually into a mutual adventure. A light look at childhood friendship and the complicated, primitive feelings that often accompany any relationship. (Picture book. 3-6)--Kirkus
This is an endearing picture book about two unlikely friends-a dragon and a dinosaur. Freddie the dinosaur and Gingersnap the dragon have a chance meeting and become fast friends. Although they appear to be completely different, they have similarities that help them form a quick bond. Various lessons are woven into the short picture book, including a lesson about learning from others and accepting differences. The illustrations are reminiscent of a simpler time; they are delightful. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and am eager to share it with my students. Lori Todd, Library Media Specialist, Rosemont Forest Elementary School, Virginia Beach, Virginia Recommended--Library Media Connection
About the Author
VINCENT X. KIRSCH (http://vincentxkirsch.com/) is an illustrator, designer, toymaker, and writer. His work includes designing and illustrating book jackets, illustration for the New York Times Book Review and its Op-Ed pages, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Kirsch was also a window designer at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue, and often art directed the interior of the store along with the windows. He is the author of Natalie and Naughtily, Two Little Boys from Toolittle Toys, and most recently Forsythia and Me.