Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon, by Terry John Barto | Dedicated Review
Written by Terry John Barto
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle
Age Range: 3-7
Paperback: 34 pages
Publisher: AuthorHouse (January 14, 2015)
What to expect: Dragons, Humor, Adventure, Life Lessons … and Stand-up Comedy
Terry John Barto’s innovative tale presents the story of Nickerbacher, a young dragon who wants nothing more than to be a stand-up comedian. Unfortunately, Nickerbacher’s father insists that a dragon’s place is in front of a castle guarding a princess. When Nickerbacher finally summons the strength to follow his dream, even his father learns that the greatest courage lies in being yourself.
One of the great charms of the story is how every character, not just Nickerbacher, is faced with choosing between their dreams and what they have been born into. The princess Nickerbacher is guarding insists that she does not need to be guarded, the prince who arrives seeking to do battle with Nickerbacher for the princess’s hand would much rather be playing baseball, and even Nickerbacher’s own mother displays a fondness for comedy by the story’s end. This presents a sophisticated twist on the misfit tale by offering us characters of esteem (brave dragons, a prince, and a princess) that, despite their noble positions, still wish to follow their own path. And it’s an especially compelling element to have these characters bravely asserting their desires in direct opposition to their overly assertive parents.
The baseball-loving prince eventually convinces Nickerbacher to follow his dreams. Nickerbacher begins on the long path to a career in stand-up comedy. At last, he gets his big break, and after a slow start wins over the audience with a commanding performance. Backstage, he learns that his parents were in the audience, and they visit him in his dressing room to offer their congratulations as they beam with pride. Nickerbacher becomes a world famous comedian. What happens to a dragon that achieves all his dreams? the book asks. He lives happily ever after.
The deft, funny and charming tale is matched by Kim Sponaugle’s rich and colorful illustrations. Kids and parents will laugh out loud and appreciate the book’s positive message. Terry John Barto’s Nickerbacher is sure to bring the house down!
About the Author
Terry John Barto is a director and choreographer of 200+ regional theater productions, industrials, television, and cruise ship shows throughout the United States and abroad. As creative director for Wings of Dreams Productions, he honed diverse ideas into compelling stories, wrote screenplays for animation features, and inspired a team of artists to develop dolls and action figures.
He lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys Pilates, Yoga, and hiking with his dachshunds, Hunter and Mazie. Terry John Barto is also the author of Gollywood, Here I Come! For more information, please go to tjbkids.com and gollywoodhereicome.com
For more information, visit: http://nickerbacher.com
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