Cover image for If that breathes fire, we're toast!
If that breathes fire, we're toast!
Stewart, Jennifer J.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, 1999.
Physical Description:
118 pages ; 22 cm
When eleven-year-old Rick and his mother move from San Diego to Tucson he is not too happy about the change, but when they get a fire-breathing, time-traveling dragon to replace their broken furnace, his new life starts to get more interesting.
Reading Level:
680 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.4 4.0 43706.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.8 8 Quiz: 17526 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Rick is not happy when he and his mother move from San Diego, where he had friends, to Arizona, where he knows no one. He dreads a long, boring summer, until the day Madame Yang arrives on the scene. Madame Yang is no fairy godmother. She's a fire-breathing, marsh-mallow-eating, princess-chasing, time-traveling, hotheaded dragon, with her own ideas on just about everything. Now Rick and his neighbor Natalie are in the hot seat. Will the two of them be able to keep Madame Yang happy, or will their goose be cooked?

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. Rick feels lonely and resentful when his mother decides they will move from San Diego to Phoenix. Soon, however, he makes friends with his neighbor Natalie, and together they unpack a mysterious carton that arrives from Dragonwerks. Inside is a dragon, Mrs. Yang by name, who takes the pair on several trips through time and imagination. Mrs. Yang is vividly realized, but the time-travel sections fit awkwardly in the otherwise down-to-earth narration. Also, the events taking place during most of the travel have little connection to the characters, so readers must wait impatiently to get back to the real story. Fortunately, the sharp, funny phrasing and the likable, believable characters give the book freshness and zip, and the eye-catching cover will help it circulate in libraries. --Susan Dove Lempke

Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Eleven-year-old Rick narrates this humorous story of new beginnings in Arizona. When the furnace in their new house is not working, Rick points out a small label that says "Dragonwerks, Ltd. Lifetime Guarantee." His mom calls and the company agrees to send out a temporary replacement until the new models are available. What arrives in a crate is Madam Yang, a 500-year-old dragon. Rick and his new friend, Natalie, discover that Madam Yang has the ability to time travel and they have a few interesting visits to the past and one to the future. After she leaves, the children discover a gift from her, and a sequel seems probable. The writing is strongest when Rick is dealing with troubles in the present. The dialogue is fresh and the characters are likable, including the adults. The only real negative is the time-travel aspect, which seems forced; it is used to teach the kids lessons, and interrupts the developing relationships. A quick, fun read.-Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.