All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Journey: A Big Panda & Tiny Dragon Adventure by James Norbury

on November 21, 2022

The Journey: A Big Panda and Tiny Dragon Adventure
James Norbury
Penguin Random House AUS
2022, 159p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}: ‘We shall go on a journey, across the river . . .’ 

Join Big Panda and Tiny Dragon as they set off on an extraordinary adventure in this companion to the global bestselling phenomenon Big Panda and Tiny Dragon.

Although content in their temple high up in the mountains, Tiny Dragon realises that something feels incomplete. So it is that they decide to make a journey together, to new and distant lands.

As they encounter dangers and challenges, they learn that everything they need is already inside them and that change, though sometimes scary, is possible and, with patience, can lead to better things.

Inspired by Buddhist philosophy and spirituality, the story of these whimsical characters makes the perfect gift for anyone looking for a little hope and comfort.

This book was so beautiful!

I don’t read a lot of illustrated books anymore – my kids are old enough now that they don’t want to sit down and pick up one and look through it, they’ve moved on to young adult and middle grade novels. This book for me, was a good reminder that a book like this can be for someone of any age, because I read it alone and got so much out of it.

I haven’t read the other Big Panda and Tiny Dragon book, so I didn’t really know anything about them or their dynamic coming into this but it will definitely be high on my list of things to read now.

In this book, Big Panda and Tiny Dragon leave their home and Tiny Dragon has a lot of feelings about it, such as fear and anxiety. Of the unknown, of leaving behind things that are comfortable and familiar, especially as the adventure gets a little bit stressful. Big Panda is the calm voice of reason, often reassuring Tiny Dragon to look for the positives rather than the negatives in things and embracing adventure, rather than lamenting all that is left behind. That perhaps they will find something better, something they like more. Even if it’s a bit of a trek to get there.

It feels relatable, in a lot of ways. For kids who might be reading this with their parents, it might help them understand and process thoughts about new things in their lives, such as school. And for adults – well there’s plenty to get out of this as well, I know I definitely found things that resonated with me. I’m not really one to push myself out of my comfort zone very often and the familiarity of home is definitely something I enjoy. But this is a little timely reminder that sometimes when you step out, things can get bad….but they will get better.

I just have to mention the artwork, which is stunning. It’s a mix of ink black and white drawings as well as some watercolour and some of the watercolour is just so beautiful. The artist sells prints on his website and I’m honestly tempted to get a couple. They’d make beautiful additions to a nursery – my kids are far beyond that but the prints would just as easily sit in any room of a house. Each time I thought I couldn’t find a picture I would like more than a previous one, I would be proved wrong.

I loved this and I will definitely be buying the first book now – they are keepers for the shelf.


Book #181 of 2022


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