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Liza Jane & the Dragon

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New York Times best-selling author Laura Lippman’s picture book debut offers a timely parable about family values, a little girl, and a dragon.

$16.95 $12.71

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“This enjoyable book delivers a lesson, and its playful drawings invite the young reader into a wonderful place somewhere between fantasy and reality.”
New York Times Book Review

“A girl frustrated with her parents’ rules fires them and hires a dragon to take their place.”
Publishers Weekly, Included in Fall 2018 Announcements

“While mystery writer Laura Lippmann’s debut picture book, Liza Jane and the Dragon (Akashic, Oct.), illustrated by Kate Samworth, actually is being marketed towards children, it’s also an allegory for the 2016 election. Liza Jane is a little girl who fires her parents and hires as her new parent a fire-belching dragon that drives away her friends and looks suspiciously like Trump.”
Publishers Weekly, Included in Roundup of Political Books related to Donald Trump

“Laura Lippman, who is best known for her gritty thrillers for adult readers, has written her debut picture book, Liza Jane and the Dragon, illustrated by Kate Samworth, definitely for children. Adult readers, however, will likely recognize that this isn’t simply a tale about a girl and her dragon; it’s also is an allegory of the 2016 election: Liza Jane fires her parents and hires a dragon with an orange mane to be her new parent.”
Publishers Weekly, Included in feature on Trumpian Political Humor

“This appealing debut picture book is enriched by the strategic use of color in Samworth’s dreamy illustrations, and kids will roar at the dragon’s outrageous antics. This delightfully quirky read deserves a place in most collections.”
School Library Journal

“Written with an impressive originality by Laura Lippman and illustrated with the exceptionally artwork of Kate Samworth, Liza Jane & the Dragon is unreservedly recommended.”
Midwest Book Review

Included in the Bay Area Reporter‘s Fall 2018 Reading Guide

“Bestselling crime fiction author Lippman’s picture book debut tells the story of what happens when Liza Jane fires her mom and dad and hires the first applicant who comes to the door to be her new parent. The only problem is that the dragon has only one response to all problems: opening his mouth and belching fire. No one wants to play with Liza Jane. And all that fire is bad for the furniture.”
Publishers Weekly, Included in The Big Indie Books of Fall 2018

“Silly, funny and a joy to read. The illustrations are great, too. Get a copy for your little one, they’ll read it more than once!”
Journey of a Bookseller


Interest Level: K–3 | Grade Level: 2 | Lexile Level: 500 | Guided Reading Level: L

Liza Jane believed she could find better parents. So she fired her mom and dad and hired the first applicant who came to the door—what could possibly go wrong?

And at first everything was fun. The dragon did whatever Liza Jane wanted him to do. But it turned out the dragon had only one response to all problems—opening his mouth and belching fire. Suddenly, people were scared of Liza Jane. The pizza deliveryman didn’t want to come to her house. No one wanted to play with her. And all that fire was very bad for the furniture.

Could Liza Jane have been wrong about what kind of qualities she wanted in a parent?

Part of our Black Sheep imprint for young readers.

Read a Q&A with Laura Lippman at Baltimore Magazine

Check out the announcement and event preview at the Baltimore Sun.

Watch a Facebook Live interview with Laura Lippman, hosted by The Children’s Trust, from the 2018 Miami Book Fair.

The audiobook edition of Liza Jane & the Dragon, read by Mindy Kaling, is now available wherever you get your audiobooks! Listen to a 1-minute clip below:

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Published: 10/2/18
  • IBSN: 9781617756610
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756948


LAURA LIPPMAN is the award-winning writer of more than twenty crime-fiction novels. She lives in Baltimore (and is the editor of Baltimore Noir) and New Orleans with her husband, David Simon, and her very smart daughter, Georgia Rae. Liza Jane & the Dragon is her debut children’s picture book.

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KATE SAMWORTH is an artist and illustrator inspired by natural science and art history. Her art responds to the constant changes in nature and draws upon her experiences farming in Turkey and Spain and hiking in Brazil. Her books include the Kirkus Prize–winning Aviary Wonders Inc., Liza Jane & the Dragon (by Laura Lippman), and Why Fish Don’t Exist (by Lulu Miller). Her work is held in multiple public and private collections across the US and abroad and her illustrations have been featured in World Watch and Orion magazines. Her latest work is Grand Isle.

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