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In honor of National Taco Day, a chat with the author of Dragons Love Tacos

Claire Zulkey wonders when she'll ever get used to the idea that she has two boys. She is the author of two books for young people, An Off Year and Best Frenemies. She and her filmmaker husband live in Evanston, IL. You can find out more...

Adam Rubin, author of Dragons Love Tacos, talks his favorite games, improv for kids and his favorite taco toppings

Today is National Taco Day! As a mom, the first thing this news made me think of was Adam Rubin’s hilarious kids’ book Dragons Love Tacos, which is about how to host the perfect taco party for spice-sensitive dragons.

In addition to writing Dragons Love Tacos, Rubin is the author of another awesome food-themed children’s book, Robo-Sauce. When he’s not writing books, he teaches improv to children and works for the designer game and puzzle company Art of Play.

SheKnows: How did you decide that dragons love tacos, and not hot dogs or hamburgers or princesses?

Adam Rubin: Dragons Love Tacos was inspired by a little statue that my dad kept on his desk while I was growing up. It always looked like a dragon eating a taco to me. I was kind of a weird little kid.

More: 11 picture books every preschooler will love

SK: Do you share dragons' feelings regarding spicy salsa? What are your ideal taco toppings?

AR: Unlike dragons, I love spicy salsa. In fact, the spicier the better. For me, the ideal taco toppings are chopped onion, some cilantro and a bit of lime juice. I like the classic Mexican style. I like crunchy, Tex-Mex, cheese-slathered too, but I prefer to keep it simple.

SK: What ingredients from tacos and Robo-Sauce overlap?

AR: I don't think there are any taco-specific ingredients in Robo-Sauce, but there is a dragon on the box of plaxico powder, so you could try sprinkling some of that on your tortilla. Be careful, though — you may snort sparks.

SK: What are kids inherently better at (if anything) at improv than adults?

AR: Kids play make-believe all the time, so they tend to be better at using their imaginations than adults. Like anything, practice helps a lot. I think it would be great if more adults were able to maintain that joyful creativity that we all experience as children. Maybe more businesses should allow time for recess.

More: Taco Tuesday: 20 party-perfect mini tacos

SK: You work for a puzzle and game company — what is your favorite game to play these days, with grownups or anyone in particular?

AR: My favorite games to play are Shoot the Moon and Shut the Box. Shoot the Moon is a skill game that requires a lot of patience and skill. It's pretty satisfying once you master it, though, because you feel like you're defying gravity. Very neat. Shut the Box is a dice game that's really fun for groups. You can make wagers or just compete for high score. It's very high-energy. It's fun for kids too, because it's good practice with arithmetic, the play is super-tactile and the board makes great clacking sounds. It was a big hit when I brought it to Thanksgiving last year.

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