Dragons Love Tacos

By Adam Rubin

Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012



Dragons love tacos, parties, and especially taco parties. The only thing about tacos dragons don’t like is spicy salsa. In this entertaining book, Adam Rubin tells the reader how to throw a fabulous taco party for dragons. However, things get a little fiery when someone sneaks spicy salsa into the party. Fortunately, all ends well. The hilarious illustrations by Daniel Salmieri will keep readers laughing and turning the pages to see what happens next.    



About the Author


Adam Rubin is the New York Times bestselling author of a half dozen critically-acclaimed picture books. All of Adam’s books have been illustrated by the remarkably talented Daniel Salmieri. Adam and Daniel’s comforting harmony of unique sensibilities has won fans young and old.

During the day Adam Rubin works as creative director at a fancy digital advertising agency in New York City. At night, Adam indulges his hobbies as a puzzle collector and magic trick aficionado.

Related Links,

Adam Rubin’s official website, 

About the Illustrator

Daniel Salmieri grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and as a kid he drew fighter jets and Ninja Turtles.  In 2006, he received a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for Illustration. Since then he has illustrated eight picture books, including Dragons Love Tacos, which is a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book, Around the World on Eighty Legs, Secret Pizza Party, and Those Darn Squirrels!. He has won several awards including the Borders Original Voices Award and the NAIBA 2013 Book of the Year Award.  He currently lives in Brooklyn, and in addition to illustrating children’s picture books, he enjoys drawing theater posters, album art, and portraits of dogs.

Related Links

Daniel Salmieri’s official website, 


Fantasy/Imaginary Characters

Hicks, Barbara Jean. Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2009.

Santat, Dan. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2014.

Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. HarperCollins, 2012.

Slonim, David. He Came With the Couch. Chronicle, 2005.

Books about Food

Carle, Eric. The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Scholastic, 1994.

Numeroff, Laura. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.  HarperCollins, 2010.

Reynolds, Aaron. Chicks and Salsa. Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2007.

Reynolds, Aaron. Creepy Carrots! Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012.

Other Books By Adam Rubin

Those Darn Squirrels

Secret Pizza Party

Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door

Big Bad Bubble

Those Darn Squirrels Fly South




Parallel Construction - Choose your own finicky eater!

Have students fold a piece of paper into three sections.  

Choose your favorite animal (real or imaginary) - for example, dog, cat, unicorn, dinosaur, etc.  Write the animal in the first section. Then, decide what food is its favorite - it can be anything!  For example, a unicorn’s favorite food might be cotton candy.  Write the food in the second section. Next, think of something that your animal doesn’t like about the food (e.g. if the cotton candy is pink).  Write this in the third column.  Write a complete sentence at the bottom of your paper.  Read aloud to class.

Your Least Favorite Food

Think of the food you like the least.  Is it broccoli?  Brussel sprouts?  Liver?  Talk with a partner and share why you don’t like this food.  You will share with the class your partner’s least favorite food and why she/he doesn’t like it.  

Doctor!  Doctor!

Imagine you’re a doctor and a dragon comes to you in distress.  He says he just ate some tacos with spicy salsa.  You examine him - what are his symptoms?  (Smoke coming out of nose, upset stomach, breathing fire, etc.)  Use the book/pictures to determine what is going on with your patient.  How would you treat him?


Invite a Dragon to Your Taco Party!

Create an invitation to your taco party!  Make sure your dragon friends know there will be no spicy salsa!  What kind of tacos will you have?  Will there be games?  What time will the party start?  You can use construction paper, markers, scissors, and glue sticks for this activity.

Taco Recipe!

Let’s make taco recipes that are dragon-friendly!  On an index card, write the ingredients for the kind of tacos that dragons would enjoy.  Then, explain how to make the tacos on the back side of the card.  We’ll assemble all the cards together into a class recipe book!

2015-2016 California Young Reader Medal Resource Guide