Kidlit Review: Leo and the Lightning Dragons by @leolightdragons ‏@FledglingPress @lovebooksgroup

07:30

Everybody in the kingdom is supporting the brave knight Leo in his battle against his fearsome dragons. They try lots of different things to help him defeat them but eventually Leo realises that the most important thing to do is to believe in himself. This beautifully illustrated book with a poignant and uplifting rhyming story encourages children to persevere and find strength in the face of adversity, even when it seems that nothing is working. Written by Gill White for her son Leo who suffers from Ohtahara Syndrome, an extremely rare form of epilepsy, and beautifully illustrated by Fife artist Gilli B, this story has been positively received by parents of children with complex needs, by care workers and medical staff and by parents of healthy young children who love the book simply as an adventure story. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to CHAS (Children's Hospices across Scotland). 


Review:

Confession: I never say no when I'm asked to review a children's book/picture book. I'm a sucker for a beautifully illustrated book. But when Kelly of Love Books Group told me the story behind the book, it made me even more eager to read it. 

In Leo and the Lightning Dragon, Leo's condition is presented in the form of a brave knight who fights dragons; definitely, an accessible way for children to learn about the condition. 

Some people can run away when faced with their fears. Leo can't. The battles he fights, the lightning dragons that cause his seizures, are inside. The doctors and nurses who try to help him are present in the form of witches and wizards that brew potions in an attempt to slay the dragon. 

The most important underlying message is that Leo is not alone, he has a village of supporters behind him. It sends a positive message to children, that if you're going through hard times support and love can make the difference. 

I particularly liked the suggestions at the end of the book to make the book a sensory experience. I would recommend that if someone is intending to read this book to a child that they read the back pages first and have some of the ideas ready before they start. 

As an illustration fan. I have to say that the artwork in the book is really beautiful. Strong washes of green are accented with bright reds, with only used to show fine detail. It gives the book a bold bright appearance and will be welcoming to young readers.

I would happily recommend this book for any child that loves fairytales. And I wish Leo all the best, I hope he slays his dragons for good one day. 


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