Usually around this time of year a recommendation for a beach read is in order, in which case I grasp your shoulders and scream 'American Gods’ in your face, but I’d rather share the most magnificent piece of literature I have ever laid mine eyes upon- that’s right folks, ‘Dragons Love Tacos.’
Do you like dragons? Do you like tacos? If you don’t like dragons or tacos, wanna meet up so we can discuss this egregious lapse in your personal taste? I will sit you down, make a vague comment about the weather, and then graciously proffer ‘Dragons with Tacos,’ my new favorite book.
Yes, it’s a children’s book. Yes, I read those more than I’d care to admit. Sometimes a fellow wants a light read, not a Jojo Moyes-type light read but like a really *really* light read, because you just trudged through the first Game of Thrones book on a stupid whim and barely made it out alive with your brain intact. Thus, I perused the children’s section.
I’ve always held a special place in my heart for children’s books. When you get down to it, they can be extremely poignant. The best ones I’ve read have touched upon exclusion, racism, the individual’s role in society, the meaning of family, even how to handle the idea of death. Shel Silverstein’s poetry, ‘The Little Prince,’ Dr. Seuss’ rhymes, they all carry life messages hidden behind easily-digestible jibber-jabber. My favorite of Silverstein’s, ‘Peanut Butter Sandwich,’ touches upon the consequences of excess. Dr. Seuss himself tackled bigotry and antisemitism in ‘The Sneetches’ and the environmental impact of the human overuse of resources in ‘The Lorax.’ Pretty adult stuff. So I suppose I shouldn’t feel ashamed that I occasionally spend a bit too long shelving children’s books. Literature for kids can be refreshing and illuminating in the way that it explores heavy topics and recognizes how intelligent children can be, in the vein of when Faulkner’s infamous Vardaman from ‘As I Lay Dying’ contemplates the difference between physical and spiritual permanence by watching a toy train in a store window. Goes to show that kids understand stuff better than adults, sometimes.
Where was I? Oh, yes, tacos.
‘Dragons Love Tacos’ caught my eye because, I mean, when’s the last time you’ve seen a book with both dragons AND tacos on the cover? When I found it it felt like my birthday. The book’s illustrations are adorable, the concept is darn near brilliant in its unabashed simplicity, and the writing provides groundbreaking insights and advice such as:
“Taco parties are parties with lots of tacos.”
“Bury the spicy salsa in the backyard.”
“I know you love tacos, dragons, but you’re not gonna love *those* tacos.”
I have misled you. ‘Dragons Love Tacos’ isn’t thought-provoking like the aforementioned children’s titles, and the only life-changing insight it will instill in you is that you may consider hunting down a dragon so you have someone to eat tacos with when you watch Netflix. Nothing is more Russian novel tragic than bringing House of Cards alone in your basement whilst eating many a taco, wondering what deity you must’ve angered to end up here. I know this from experience.
But here’s the deal. I love the book because it’s downright ridiculous. It has absolutely zero reason to exist. Nada. Zilch. None. Yet . . . It does. Great Mother Earth now holds under her depleting ozone layer a book about how dragons hate spicy salsa on their tacos. Stew on that for a second. Think about it. We’re living in a tumultuous time, on a planet slowly headed for eventual annihilation by either galactic explosion, nuclear war, or the sun burning us all to ashes, but it has now been confirmed that dragons love tacos. There is hope for us yet. There is hope.
Staff of Wellington Square Book Shop