Just ink with a splash of color on each page, Have You Seen My Dragon is a counting book, a find-the-object-book, and a paean to Manhattan rolled all into one. Since the dragon is really not that hard to find, I figured the book might be a bit young for my six-year-old, but he insisted upon counting every object that was laid out for him on each page — 2 hot dogs, 3 buses, 4 sailboats, and so on. At 19 green lights, it took a little longer for him to locate and count everything, but the vivid hues make counting irresistible.
Steve Light has produced something quite special with this marvelously detailed piece, a book filled with bus stops and windows and sidewalks and tall buildings. My favorite spreads are the one of the dragon drinking from a water tower (there are five laid out in various places with rickety ladders sticking out of them) and the perspective-skewed page dotted with bright red fire hydrants. Buildings and sidewalks are all messed up on that page, perhaps in a kind of nod to the pre-Escher set.
I love the purple buses that leap at you from an otherwise black-and-white backdrop. The Brooklyn Bridge is in there, too. Lots of things to see. ABZ