The Laughing Dragon
Kenneth Mahood ~ Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970
Enjoying the last few days of summer, so no thoughts from the Peanut Gallery this morning, therefore.... The Emperor of Japan was about to eat his morning egg when suddenly... out jumped a little smiling dragon.
He seemed very friendly, so the Emperor decided to call him Hojo and keep him as the Imperial Pet. Hojo soon became a great favorite with everyone by making himself useful around the palace. He made delicious soups, had a very light hand with pastry, and the Emperor loved his pancakes. In addition he was always gay and cheerful, could sing, play chess, enjoy a joke, and his hot breath kept the palace warm, which was a great comfort to the Emperor who suffered from cold feet.
Which is great, yeah, except every time Hojo laughed, he shot out a scorching hot flame. And Hojo laughed alot. When Hojo almost burns the palace down, he is exiled... until he meets a wise old turtle named George who teaches him the ancient art of self-control. Fabulous illustrations and a cute story that really comes in handy around here for one over-excited bird lover I know. Oops. There's the Peanut Gallery. Nuts.