4 out of 4 stars
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A huge and hungry dragon arrives in a small and peaceful town. After starting eating the crops, he disguises himself in the farmer’s clothes, mingles with the population, and starts spreading lies about who is to blame for the sudden shortage of food. The once peaceful town is now in great moral distress. Innocent people are blamed and imprisoned, and the guilty criminal is on the loose unchecked. Will the citizens find out about the lies and re-establish order and peace? What will happen to the deceitful dragon?
The Dashingly Deceitful Dragon is a tale that came forth from the idea of teaching children some important moral lessons about lies and propaganda. The author, Brandon Tullos, realized that the target audience needed to understand that things are not always what they look like. Moreover, he also wanted to educate children into thinking critically, which, according to Tullos, is the only way of being truly free.
The content is very interesting. The simple text appears in the context of colorful illustrations by Vladimir Arabadzhi. The images are also loaded with implicit messages. For example, the citizens include medieval Europeans, native Americans, Vikings, Latin Americans, among others. The author’s intention, as he explains in the Dedication, is to portray a society of immigrants in order to tackle the preconceived ideas and propaganda (i.e. fake news) concerning such people. Tullos finds it important to let readers know that he is married to an immigrant woman and that their American Dream is in jeopardy because of "some papers".
As for the structure, the book is very simple and very rich at the same time. Each of the 26 pages that make up the story has but a couple of sentences. The style resembles poetry: the words flow melodically and culminate in rhyme. This was my favorite element, as the aesthetical element will greatly impact the children’s interest in the story and, ultimately, will help them engage with literature. There are also other linguistic devices such as assonance and onomatopoeia. There were no typos or grammar mistakes to be found. As expected, there are no erotic elements or profanity. Also, there are no religious references.
All in all, The Dashingly Deceitful Dragon is an excellent bedtime story for children. There was nothing I disliked about this book. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars because of the excellent content and the fantastic way it was structured. This book seems to be more appealing to children aged 3 to 8 and would definitely fit nicely in a kid’s personal library.
The Dashingly Deceitful Dragon
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