Title: Tuck-a-tuck Dragon
Author: J. L. Morin
Illustrator: Stephan Theo & Nicole Theo
Narrator: Stephan Theo
Publisher: Harvard Square Edtions
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Pre-publication digital copy & Audiobook excerpt
Sweet Strawberries:  Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  Delightful dragons lead the way through this diverse, rhyming children’s book to overcome childhood fears
Audio, ebook and hardback formats bring to life the soothing tale of an outcast dragon who overcomes childhood fears, bravely lulling a pair of scary babies to sleep with his magical sand.
The “boring Tan Dragon” wins the respect of his colorful peers when he faces his fear and realizes his special gift. Brilliant, often abstract, paintings by Stephan Theo and Nicole Theo illustrate this enchanting rhyme-Stephan Theo from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television voice acts the audio book, to singer-songwriter Nicole Theo’s guitar accompaniment. The dragons in this bedtime story frolic to poetry, while delighting, empowering and motivating. Kids will love the award-winning author’s charming tale of a rainbow of silly dragon friends pulling together and overcoming their fear of the littlest humans. Teaches: facing fear to find unique virtues; diversity; colors; reading words finishing rhymes.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is an interesting picture book with some very fun rhyming.  Colourful dragons are all heading to Sun Yellow’s house to play some dragon games and have fun, but when Tan Dragon arrives none of the dragons really care about him as they think he’s so boring and don’t want to play with him.  However when something scary happens that frightens all of the colourful dragons, it’s Tan dragon that comes to the rescue.

Tuck-a-tuck Dragon book page image one
Digital image of book provided by publisher

I enjoyed the story in this book.  Each of the dragons is a unique colour and they all enjoy having fun and playing games together.  I love how some of the dragons are described like the white dragon being made of cloud.  While the dragons all enjoy their games they are annoyed when Tan dragon, who is late, arrives.  The way the dragons think of and treat Tan Dragon is reminiscent of how some children can be treated unfairly among their peers, but I like what happens in this story and how later, Tan Dragon essentially ‘saves the day’ for all of the other dragons although I won’t go into any more about what actually happens in the story.

There is a good rhyming pattern throughout the story and I like how this book sounds when heard as an audiobook.  I was lucky enough to have access to both a digital copy and to hear an excerpt of the audiobook which features some nice music, mainly some nice and subtle guitar music playing throughout in between the narrator’s sentences.  While the audiobook sounds good and the rhyming story overall feels like a good tale, although children might not know the odd word used in rhyme like ‘haughty’, I’m just not sure about some of the illustrations in this book.  I always love picture books for their images, reagardless of how detailed or not, I enjoy all styles, but while the style of pictures in the book is nice, I’m just not sure how much children will enjoy some of the more abstract illustrations that this book has.

There are some really nice and colourful illustrations throughout the story and I do love how all of the dragons end up looking in some of these less abstract pictures.  I love some of these illustrations especially when you can see the dragons like the cloud white dragon in the sky and the others flying in the sky together.  All of the illustrations have a quality that make them look a bit like children’s paintings which I actually love, however it’s the more abstract images that I am not sure about in this book.  I do think that a few images were just so abstract for a children’s book that I struggled to see where the dragons were in the image and I’m used to looking at a lot of picture books with different styles of illustration.  I do think that as an adult you can appreciate some of the more abstract images but I do think that children would probably enjoy these illustrations more if the dragons are easier to see rather than the very abstract forms they take in some of the images that appear on some pages.  Some of these more abstract images are also used an activity at the end of the book which children can enjoy doing in relation to the story.

Tuck-a-tuck Dragon book page image two
Digital image of book provided by publisher

Overall this book does has a good story ad message showing children that they should be kind and respectful to others and to think again about someone as being ‘boring’, like the other dragons thought of Tan Dragon.  There are some lovely illustrations of the dragons too and some lovely descriptions of their colours.  But although the story overall was good and the book in general is a nice one to look at, I just don’t know if this book is as fun for some children as I’m not sure I would have enjoyed the very abstract images as a child myself, although I do understand where the illustrator was going with the images,  and of course I could be completely wrong and kids might love it, lol🙂

What do you think of this book?  Do you or your children like books featuring mythical creatures like dragons?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂