The Little Dragon (Sheri Fink)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Little Dragon, written by Sheri Fink and illustrated by Lynx Studios, a tale about embarrassment and acceptance.

There once was a little dragon who lived happily and peacefully in a beautiful meadow, one filled with flowers and his cozy cave and starlit skies. One of Dragon’s favorite things to do in his meadow was to dance, and he would do so joyfully whenever he had the opportunity… until one day, he realizes that someone is watching. He sees movement and hears giggling in the shadows of the tree line, and is immediately overcome with an emotion he’s never felt before. He feels a hot rumble rolls up from his belly through his face and chest, and he feels angry and hurt. This results in a tantrum that causes him to nearly destroy one of his beloved meadow’s trees! Determined to never let this happen again, he decides to take action: he will find out who the giggler was, and make sure they never return to his peaceful place. Learning from the meadow’s birds that it was a dragon, he decides that dragons are not welcome in his meadow (not realizing that he, himself, is a dragon). But when the giggling dragon reappears, how will he handle his temper?

Ambitious yet uneven. There are some truly great moments, like the fantastic kid-language description of embarrassment that feels utterly universal, and the message that we should not push others away or exclude them based on awkward first impressions. The giggler turns out to be another dragon, and after a clever exchange in which she explains that Little Dragon is a dragon too, he sees that she is friendly, and he invites her to dance along. It’s a sweet ending, but it left me wanting a little more, especially after the fantastic set-up about self-consciousness. I wish that Dragon’s emotions and his overcoming them had gotten a more definitive resolution. However, this is still a very nice story, and it’s accompanied by gentle, colorful illustrations that younger readers will love. The length is fine, and JJ enjoyed it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

The Little Unicorn (Sheri Fink)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Little Unicorn, written by Sheri Fink and illustrated by Lynx Animation Studios, the latest in the author’s Whimsical World series.

The Little Unicorn lives in an enchanted forest, filled with rainbows, lollipop flowers, and magical fairies. The forest is tied to the magic of Unicorn’s inner sparkle, which she activates by thinking of the things she is grateful for. Unfortunately, Unicorn wanders too far into the surrounding forest one day, becoming lost and afraid. After finding her way through the danger, she attempts to activate her magic, only for it to fail. Upset and alone, Unicorn has trouble thinking of what she is grateful for, and her magic begins to fade, the colors of her home along with it. All seems lost… until a good friend encourages Unicorn to believe in herself, and find that true magic never really dies.

Lovely. The sugar-sweet tone of the illustrations belies a rather beautiful and even complex story. Young readers get a valuable lesson in coping by reaching out to supportive loved ones, remembering appreciate what they have, and knowing that the magic within us never dies, it only becomes obscured when we were sad or upset. Older readers will recognize as a subtle and powerful metaphor for dealing with depression or other mental health issues. It’s subject matter I was not expecting, but was pleased to find handled gently, encouragingly, and with heart. The illustrations are unfortunately a bit generic, lacking the depth and texture that could really do their story justice; not necessarily bad, but certainly underwhelming. However, the length is good and JJ enjoyed it. A wonderful reminder for readers of all ages to never lose their sparkle, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)