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Author: Terry John Barto

Illustrator: Kim Sponaugle

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Publisher: Authorhouse, 2015

Material: paperback

Summary: Nickerbacher isn’t your typical guard. First, he’s a dragon. Second, he makes Princess Gwendolyn laugh. Nickerbacher may come from a family with a long history of guarding princesses, but his dream is to be a comedian. With a nudge from Princess Gwendolyn, Nickerbacher shares his dream with his Dad. How will Papa Dragon react? Fairy tale characters bring to life this timeless story of following your dream.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a sweet story. Yes, it has a princess, but she is a sideline character. I particularly love the focus on a father-son relationship. Nickerbacher isn’t the only character with a dream that isn’t stereotypical, and that helps round out the theme very well.

Pros: Colorful illustrations and a sweet story are sure to be a hit with young readers — and comedian wannabes.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is an excellent selection for fathers and sons to read together.


Educational Themes: With young readers you can share the story at face value of following your dreams. With older readers, you can explore stereotypes and the elements of what makes a fairy tale.

Notes: The publicist representing the author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub® for review consideration because we provide an independent, unbiased profiles. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, dragons, fairy tale, life lessons

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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