“Must Read” rating for “Stanley, The Stalwart Dragon”

BookReview.com gave the first in the Fabled Forest series, “Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon” a wonderful review.  Head over to their site to see it, or read on below!

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Children’s Books 
Title: Stanley, The Stalwart Dragon
Author: Trisha Sugarek
Rating:  Must Read!
Publisher: CreateSpace
Reviewed by: Eric Jones

Trisha Sugarek is often known for her stage plays for children which take on a fun, but instructional tone and lend children an eye-opening narrative on the problems and decisions that come with growing up. Her first novel, “Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon”, is an extension of her stage work. Fully illustrated by Mitchell Lamar Larkins, it is a collection of life lessons rolled into a single journey, with a loveable protagonist who finds friendship and hardship out in an unfamiliar world. Stanley is very different from other dragons because he doesn’t blow fire. No, he blows bubbles. This leads him to feel ostracized with the dragon community and in a fit of anger he runs away to the woods where he’s greeted by a band of mixed races; elves, pixies, animals, clowns, and faeries all gather to remark on Stanley’s mysterious condition. What’s remarkable about Sugarek’s fiction is in her ability to draw depth into what might have simply been cartoon characters. City Slick is, without a doubt, my favorite. He has the sly veracity of a huckster, but appears genuinely friendly. He’s also illustrated to resemble Woody Wood Pecker, and although he’s not quite the villain, he plays the role of a trickster who gets Stanley into his predicament by convincing him to join the circus. Stanley moves then from a nice group of misfits to a bad group of misfits, and learns a strong lesson in comparing the two. There is no shortage of fun and interesting characters to grab children’s attention and engage their imagination. Being a playwright, Sugarek comes from a medium that’s heavy on dialog, and that transitions well into children’s fiction, making “Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon” a great book to read out loud to children. Parents can change voices to represent different characters, or they can highlight character’s lines that the children themselves can play. This is a novel, so there’s a slight issue of length. It’s best read as a serial over a number of nights rather than straight through, although the appearance of the book can be deceptive since it’s about the same height and width as children’s books like “Polar Express” or “Green Eggs and Ham”. However, Sugarek makes no bones about it being more advanced. She uses big words to stimulate her young readers such as ‘effervescent’, or ‘rhetorical’, which is a method reminiscent of the works of Roald Dahl. “Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon” is a captivating children’s novel from start to finish, a cartoonish romp through a fantastic world that’s full of jokes and lessons that will ensnare any child’s ear.


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