Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Review - My Big, Dumb, Invisible Dragon

My Big, Dumb, Invisible Dragon
by Angie Lucas
illustrated by Birgitta Sif
Date: 2019
Publisher: Sounds True
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

An illustrated picture book for children dealing with grief, showing that although loss is hard and real, together we can move through it to find joy and hope again.

When a young boy unexpectedly loses his mother, an invisible dragon swoops in and perches on top of his head. The boy wants the dragon to go away, but the dragon has plans of its own. It follows him to school, sleeps on his chest at night, and even crashes his birthday party. Yet as the boy comes to terms with his loss, his relationship with the dragon changes in surprising ways.

My Big, Dumb, Invisible Dragon is an important book for children dealing with loss. Whether it is the death of a parent or loved one, divorce, a move, illness, or losing a friendship, this story shows children that loss is real and hard, but we can move through it. Young readers learn that healing takes time, and that it’s okay to experience a range of emotions when processing a really big loss.

Filled with poignant yet playful illustrations and touches of humor, the book tackles a weighty subject in an easy and approachable way. For any child who’s lost someone they love, My Big, Dumb, Invisible Dragon is a tale of healing and hope.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

After reading a number of picture books using metaphors to talk about emotions, I've come to the conclusion that this is something that's really hard to get right. Often, the stories are confusing, convoluted, age-inappropriate, or internally inconsistent. My Big, Dumb, Invisible Dragon, however, is a book that gets it right. By personifying dragonifying grief, the book demystifies the grieving process for children.

When a boy suddenly loses his mother, the dragon--complete with his funky purple boots--shows up. And he won't leave. He sits on the boy's head when he's trying to get through the school day. He lies on the boy's chest when he's trying to sleep. And he even shows up on happy occasions like playdates and birthdays. The boy learns to deal with the dragon as best he can. After a while, though, something strange begins to happen. The dragon doesn't spend all his time with the boy. Sometimes he's gone for a few hours. Sometimes he's gone for a whole weekend! And the boy realizes that, as time passes (and as he gets older), the dragon seems to be getting smaller. While it'll never go away, it can become much more manageable.

I like the message here about having compassion for others' grief as well. Talking and sharing are important, as is being a good friend. I really like how the book manages to talk about such a serious, potentially depressing subject and not have it seem too heavy. Anyone who's dealt with grief of any sort will be able to relate to the boy and his bothersome dragon who weighs him down and just won't leave.

Highly recommended to readers looking for books about emotions, and especially those searching out kid-friendly books about dealing with grief. It's one of the best books dealing with tough emotions that I've seen so far.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.67 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment