Monday, March 1, 2010

Charlie the Prayin' Dragon

Charlie the Prayin' Dragon is an adventure story written in rhyme by Kimberly Gildroy. The illustrations by Justin Sanchez are vivid and cartoon-like.

Jake and Jimmy are two bored cowboys who head up to Bunkleberry Hill for a camp out. At the top of the hill, they encounter a very scary dragon.

Poor Jimmy and Jake are so scared that they can only stare at this mean looking beast. Most likely, they are preparing themselves to be scorched to death, until the dragon drops to his knees in prayer.

While the speechless cowboys watch in amazement, a light from heaven shines on the dragon and blesses him with a heart full of love. The cowboys become friendly with Charlie the dragon, and bid him farewell in the morning.

What I Like: The story is cute and will hold a child's attention. The illustrator does a wonderful job! The pictures are very engaging. I like the short section at the end of the book that showcases each of the three main characters.

What I Dislike: The rhyme is inventive, but awkward in places. The "conversion" of Charlie is not explained in any detail and God's name is never used. I think the story would be more effective as a Christian book if there were more of a lesson for children to take away from it.

Overall Rating: Ho-hum. I would have given it a "Good" rating if the price had been lower.

Age Appeal: The publisher says 9-12 but I'd say that younger children may enjoy it more.

Publisher Info: Book Surge Publishing, 2008; ISBN:143921185X ; Paperback $12.99.

Buy it now at for $12.99.

Special Info: Here is the website for this book.

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Shirley Ann said...

From your review it sounds like this book is worth the buy more because of the pictures than the message. But it probably it could be easily turned into a series of mini lessons if the author decides to try again...

Kimberly Gildroy said...

I want to thank Beverly for taking the time to read and review Charlie the Prayin' Dragon. I really appreciate the time and consideration that was taken to write a review with so many aspects evaluated. You all provide such a valuable service for authors, parents and children.

Shirley, thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts down here. I certainly appreciate it!

I agree about the illustrations, Justin did an amazing job! I searched for approximately a year before finding the illustrator who could draw the pictures the way I had them created in my head. He was so easy to work with and did a great job of creating the characters and adding his own ideas to the illustrations (such as the campfire with the little pictures of them having fun and the open can of beans).

I have found that children ages 2 to 4 really enjoy the book, because of the illustrations. Some like the story to be read to them, and some just like to make up their own story from the pictures. Either way, it delights me that they are enjoying the book in some way. One mother told my husband that her daughter loves the book and when they were done reading it she prayed for Charlie. That kind of story touches my heart.

This whole book idea came about after I wrote a poem for a contest on I kept seeing the book in my head and decided to pursue making it into a Children's Book. It was quite a process and I have learned a lot, and still have a lot to learn.

I found it frustrating dealing with the publishing company. My biggest concern was the minimum price they have set for the book. I removed the hardcover book option for this reason, but went ahead with the paperback because we were already so far into the process and I had already paid for the services.

I am hoping to rewrite the story with more character development and more story development, and then pursue other books with the same characters, hopefully finding a way to publish them where the books can be sold at a lower price. If anyone knows of some good options for this, please let me know, I would really appreciate it.

For anyone who is interested, there are free coloring pages in .pdf format to download at the website. They are free to print and copy as many copies as you would like for coloring projects. They also have no words on them so the kids can make up their own stories to go along with the pictures if they would like.

Thanks, again, for taking the time to review Charlie the Prayin' Dragon!

God Loves You,

Kimberly Gildroy, author

Beverly said...

Thanks for your comment Kimberly! May God bless you and all of your future endeavors. Let us know if you write anything else. Thanks for your suggestion, Shirley.