Leo is a very brave knight battling a different kind of dragon—his foes attack him from the inside where he cannot hide from them. He has a lot of people willing to help him, and several do their best, but this is a fight that Leo has to do on his own—so he musters up the courage and the confidence to get the job done with their support.
Gilli B is absolutely the right illustrator for this book! Her style brought it to life—I love her depiction of Lightning Dragons, I doubt that's the approach many artists would've taken with them. Her chimerical pictures capture the spirit of the book beyond those, too. Delightful work.
If you've read anything about this book, you know how hard it would be to saying anything that's not positive about the book (and if you haven't, click here.). But I'm going to—it's too short. I'm not looking for much, but we need a little more—just a couple of pages. There wouldn't even need to be much text, some illustrations might do the trick. Leo's got a tough battle to fight, and it's over a bit too quickly, which makes it seem too easy. And there's no way that Leo's Lightning Dragons (fictional or not) are easily vanquished. How White can accomplish that without running afoul of the book's overwhelming positivity, I'm not sure. I just think the subject deserves it.
Do the pluses outweigh my criticism? Oh yes. It's a great book and I'm so glad I read it. The rhymes are cute, the story is very positive, great illustrations and the imagery of the Lightning Dragon fighting inside Leo is a great way to get the idea of epilepsy across to a picture book reader. A good story that should provide a springboard for a discussion with children about this condition and how hard it has to be for people to deal with. This is definitely one to pick up for your young reader.
My thanks to Love Books Group for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.