Judge's Comments: I was immediately charmed and drawn in by Nickerbacher from the moment I saw it. What a great find! The illustrations are top-notch, and the color and detail will be both fun and visually pleasing to all the children who get the chance to catch this clever adventure. As to the plot line, who wouldn't love a comedian, Dragon? Why didn't I think of this one? What a fun premise, and it is well carried out by an author with a fantastic voice. Children (and adults) will love following Nickerbacher's story and will be rooting for him until the end.
The author certainly has a knack for this genre. The perfect voice and writing style for the children's market. Keeping their short attention spans in check will be fine with this one. As to the technical side, the book is outstanding in every way. This book will be the perfect addition to any family's library and soon become a favorite among children everywhere. This tale has the makings of a true classic.
Children's Book Review:
This book by Terry John Barto has a lively pace and funny jokes that mesmerize the young reader, the younger ones being read to, and the older ones who can now read to themselves and one another. The illustrations are carefully rendered in a lively, page-turning style that matches the text's pacing. The art depicts a pleasing and droll young dragon with Groucho Marx eyebrows and a prince who carries modern-day mints to toss to dragons.
The book is a must in the classroom, encouraging young readers to keep picking up books. Teachers will no doubt hear a lot of jokes after introducing this book and can use it to set up a little writing unit about humor, maybe even have children make their own illustrated comedic books. - Judith Nasse
There is much to love in Nickerbacher with its simple prose and its humorous and colorful images that keep the story's tone light, despite the importance of the underlying themes pertaining to believing in oneself, following your dreams, and perseverance.
This uplifting story reinforces the notion that you must believe in yourself and follow your dreams no matter what others may think and say. Young readers will chuckle over some of Nickerbacher's quirky jokes, although some may pass over their heads. In addition, young and old will delight in the fanciful world Barto and Sponaugle have created for Nickerbacher, the prince and princess.
There is little doubt that Barto is a talented wordsmith as he presents his message in snappy dialogue, which children can easily comprehend. In addition, hitting all the right notes are Sponaugle's detailed, colorful illustrations that enhance the storyline's message. In the end, we have a book that holds great enlightening value, whether shared one-on-one, in storytime, in a library, or classroom setting. Parents, educators, and librarians would do well in considering this book when seeking sources to teach children about believing in themselves. - Norm Goldman
The Crafty Mommy Blog:
Everyone knows dragons, just like people come in all shapes and sizes and all types. Some are scary, some are cuddly, some sing, and some rip people to shreds. Then there is Nickerbacher. Nicherbacher strives to make his family proud of him, but he doesn't want to be the standard dragon; he wants to break the family tradition of guarding the princess and be a comedian! I love this book, the story, and the illustrations in this book. It's beautifully colored and teaches children that you need to follow your dreams. You must ensure you are happy before striving to make anyone else happy. This book is fantastic, and I recommend it to children of all ages. - Heather Janssen
Family Review Center:
Incredibly entertaining and as enchanting as it is whimsical. The brilliance of this author is evident as he displays a warm charm in authoring children's books.
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