Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Nickerbacher (REVIEW)


Author: Terry John Barto
Category: Children's Early Chapter Book
Suitable for: All ages, ideal for 7-10
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Format Read for Review: Kindle version supplied by the author in return for my honest review. 
Pages: 51

Description: Nickerbacher is a dragon that dreams of going to La La Land to become a comedian, but a dragon has never been a comedian before! He is expected to do dragonly things and stay with Princess Gwendolyn guarding her in her tower from any silly Princes that might come and try to save her. Even though princess Gwendolyn doesn't like La La Land or what it stands for, she puts aside those feelings to devise a plan to get her dear friend Nickerbacher there so he can live out his dream of auditioning for The Late Knight Show.

In Short: This is a great book for kids that is both entertaining and full of positive messages. It teaches the value of friendship, and using hard work to accomplish your dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. It also battles discrimination and negative stereotypes. The heroes have to overcome many obstacles and others telling them that "dragons can't be comedians" before they can reach their goal and get Nickerbacher on stage at The Late Knight Show.

Pros: This book appeals to both adults and children with modern cultural references woven into a fairy tale featuring a Dragon and a Princess. Adults will catch a lot of the parodies and satires hidden in the story that may go over kids heads but there is plenty of humor for the kids too. The story is easy to follow and fun. There is even a surprising amount of character development. Prince Happenstance really comes around and changes his outlook by the middle of the book, becoming a great ally to his former enemy. I loved the part where Nickerbacher had his first audition with Johnny Kingston. During this audition he wasn't at all funny, but his friends managed to convince Johnny to give him another chance and instead of being upset about how it went Nickerbacher gets a coach to help him improve his act for next time. In the end he proved anyone can be anything they want.

Cons: I do like the art, but something about the size and rough edges of the black and white drawings could make it a little hard for children see clearly. I wish Nickerbacher's final show had been longer, maybe 1 or 2 more jokes. For me, it just warmed up and then was over.

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