Dragons in the Barn: Lola’s Adventures

Ennes Higgins (author) Dimi di Lupa (illustrator)
Independently Published (2022)
ISBN: 978-3949396038
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views Kids (05/2022)

“Dragons in the Barn: Lola’s Adventures,” by Ennes Higgins, illustrated by Dimi di Lupa, is a children’s book with a lot of good things going on: A super smart little girl named Lola who is logical and analytical, yet reluctant to engage, and uses these strengths and skills to help others when facing a problem. Tasked with cleaning out the barn, per her Nana’s request, she and her siblings encounter a dragon. Nana’s approach is based on her logical mind, and it proves to come in quite handy.

Other benefits and messages threaded throughout this original, charming story include children being aware that they can take caution for themselves when it comes to screen time. Another is to acknowledge and accept the person that you are, and that individuality is a gift. Yet another is a lesson in how to have fun and make the most out of a situation. The author cleverly wraps these messages in an entertaining story. It doesn’t really feel like you’re reading a “self-help book for children,” and those are the best kind.

Young readers, parents, teachers, or anyone working with children will fall in love with this character Lola. She is clearly atypical as a young fictional character. Lola is strong, smart, and knows her way around a dragon. The author has a gift for telling children’s stories—a fertile imagination is key, and this story has plenty of imagination, heart, and meaning. The illustrations are paired perfectly with the story, making it all come together in a way that will stir a child’s imagination and draw them into Lola’s world. I like the message of inclusion, and young readers like Lola may find themselves relating to her. Her siblings are also fun-loving and cute.

“Dragons in the Barn: Lola’s Adventures,” by Ennes Higgins, has a contemporary feel to it, but its timeless charm makes it one to treasure for years to come. It would make a wonderful gift for any child or family, and a welcome addition to a young classroom.

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