Anita and the Dragons

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

$17.99  $16.73
Lantana Publishing
Publish Date
9.2 X 9.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.79 pounds

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About the Author

Hannah Carmona is the best-selling picture book author of Anita and the Dragons, Dazzling Travis, and Beautiful, Wonderful, Strong Little Me! She started out as a stage actor, with a BA in theater from Western Kentucky University, and went on to direct children's theater for many years after. Now, when Hannah is not writing, she narrates audiobooks and spends time studying herbal medicine. Hannah lives in Tennessee with her two daughters and dog who thinks he's a cat.
Anna Cunha is a Brazilian illustrator, living and working in Belo Horizonte. She has illustrated more than twenty books, including the celebrated A Story About Afiya, and has won the AEILIJ Prize for her work. You can visit Anna at


"A Dominican girl with rosy cheeks and a wide imagination narrates this gentle, emigration-centered picture book. She watches ships from her seaside rooftop, and ducks when the shadows of dragons move overhead--even when her brother reminds her that they're just airplanes. No matter: Anita knows how to dream. This helps her to move toward life in a new land, and to say goodbye to the home she treasures. Muted chalk illustrations with spare details help to capture Anita's world and future home."--starred, Foreword Reviews

-- (4/6/2021 12:00:00 AM)

"A young Dominican girl grapples with emigrating from her homeland. Anita has long watched the 'dragons' fly 'high above.' Though they roar and shake, Anita, being a 'valiant princesa' doesn't fear them. But today a dragon will carry Anita and her mother and father and brothers from their island to a 'distant land far, far away from the Dominican Republic.' Lyrical prose accompanied by lovely illustrations that have the look of pastels and collage describes Anita's fears about what's to come as well as her anxiety about what she'll miss about her beloved homeland. The knowledge that hot baths, conveniences, and new experiences await her doesn't dull the ache that comes from leaving her beautiful life on her island and special people like her abuela. But like the brave princesa she is, Anita eventually 'hold[s her] chin high' and meets the dragon, and with it her new life--promising her island 'with mango-sweet kisses; black stormy nights; glassy, blue waves; spicy, hot heat; and sandy, snug hugs' that she will return. The art, often pastel hued, adds wonderful texture to the gorgeous text and portrays Anita with dark-brown skin, a trait shared with the majority of the other characters. The unfortunate choice to italicize the majority of the few Spanish words persists throughout. A gorgeous story about the love of one's homeland and the courage it takes to emigrate."--starred, Kirkus Reviews

-- (2/9/2021 12:00:00 AM)

"Anita, a dark-skinned young girl living in the Dominican Republic, and her family are immigrating to an unnamed country where they will learn English and have easy access to conveniences like 'hot water and a real dryer.' Imagining she is a brave princesa bound for a new palace in a distant land, Anita sadly bids goodbye to her 'royal subjects'--her abuela and neighbors--and then it's time for one of the ferocious 'dragons' (really airplanes) that soar above their seaside village to take her and her family to their new home across the ocean. Anita has never been afraid of the dragons, but each step away from her beloved island and toward the unknown requires more courage than she's ever had to muster. Ultimately, Anita channels her inner dragon to conquer the fears that inevitably arise so that she can embrace the new experiences awaiting her. The impressionistic illustrations, while beautifully textured, place the story sometime in the vague and distant past (i.e., some characters are barefoot and dressed in stereotypical peasant garb), in contrast with context clues in the text that indicate a relatively more modern mid-twentieth-century setting. Nevertheless, this is a creative addition to the canon of immigration narratives that could be well paired with Malaika's Winter Carnival by Nadia L.Hohn or Greetings, Leroy by Itah Sadu."--The Horn Book Magazine

-- (5/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)