Author: Dale Rensing
Illustrators: Guy Gilchrist and Laurie Tisdel
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN-13: 978-1484997215

Those of us who have seen the dragon knew we will not always get what we want. We won’t always finish in first place. But we will always have the dragon inside pushing us, driving us to continue on and give it our best effort each and every time,” Eric is told in Dale Rensing’s children’s book, Ziggersnout.

At twenty-four unnumbered pages, this over-sized paperback targets young readers from preschool to early elementary school ages. With the amount of reading per page, it would be best read out loud to beginner readers. Having no scary situations, it promotes working hard to achieve a goal. Small but colorful illustrations by Gilchrist and Tisdel are displayed almost every page. With no author or illustrators’ biographies or plugs for other stories written, blank pages complete the book.

In this tome, young Eric is disappointed he did not pass his ice skating test. One day he talks to Gramps, the rink manager, who rides on the Zamboni machine to clean the ice. The old man suggests returning to the rink so he can offer tips on his skating skills.

The next time Eric practices, he notices a shadow under the ice that follows him no matter where he goes. Gramps explains he is Ziggersnout, a colorful pet dragon he found ice fishing in Maine. The affable dragon loves to race other skaters, especially when they go fast. 

As Eric chases, races, and competes with Ziggersnout, he becomes a better ice skater. After Gramps adjusts the gravity dial on the Zamboni, a speed skater appears who loves to race dragons too. He explains how the dragon helps him and other speed skaters with the desire to succeed, the faith needed, and perseverance to keep trying. At the end of the tale, Eric learns that his practice paid off, he has confidence to skate faster, and he has support from others to be the best he can be.

Although dragons obviously do not exist, the story hones in on learning that practice is important, that insecurity can be replaced with confidence through persistence, and having faith in oneself makes a difference. For sports enthusiasts, young kids will enjoy the connection to ice skating and wish they could find an encouraging dragon in the sports they play.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and the author for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

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