Irene's Picture Book Reviews

DONNER THE WESTERN DRAGON

Posted on: September 11, 2010

              Donner the Western Dragon
              Written by: Suzanne Davis Marion
              Illustrated by: Marj Hales
              Booksurge Inc., 2009
              Paperback
              ISBN: 9781439252048
             
              There are quite a few children’s stories that
              focus on important problems that kids
              experience in every day life with moral lessons.
              Suzanne Marion’s wonderful and inspiring
              book falls into this category.
             
              Suzanne’s book is written as an old-fashioned,
              heroic fairy tale. It kind of reminded me of
              Grimm and Andersen a bit. The book is about
              Donner, a dragon. Dragons are supposed to be
              fierce, fire-breathing beasts. But Donner is
              nothing like that. Donner is peaceful, enjoying
              quiet meadows and butterfly-gazing. While
              most dragons his age use up their fire on a
              daily basis, Donner barely breathes a spark. His
              best friend is a sweet unicorn who has a similar
              temperament. They live in the mountains and
              enjoy the peace and tranquillity there.
             
              Donner is portrayed as a well-adjusted misfit.
              He doesn’t worry too much when other
              dragons laugh at him. Instead, Donner believes
              that they waste their time playing games.
              Donner seems to be very comfortable in his
              own skin. This is such a wonderful message for
              kids. Many kids feel so out of place with their
              friends and sadly sometimes in their families as
              well. Donner’s message will help them to face
              the sometimes harsh realities of their lives and
              experiences.
             
              The moral of the book is that we could all be
              different and a hero at the same time. Maybe
              we should all strive to be different so that we
              could become also be heros? I would recommend
              this book to any child who is struggling because
              (s)he feels a bit different. I recently read the
              book at my local library, and the kids
              were mesmerized by the message of the
              book. When I passed the book around the
              group, they were totally transported by
              the colourful illustrations.
             
              Kudos goes out to Marj Hales for doing such
              a wonderful job illustrating the story! She
              is a truly gifted artist. The dragons look very
              colourful and vibrant. Each page is colourful
              and uplifting. It will consistently transport
              young readers.
             
              Reviewed By Irene S. Roth
              Rating: 5 roses

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