Today, I’m very happy to welcome the Book Tour for Gill White’s Leo & The Lightning Dragons. We’ll kick it off with this spotlight post and then I’ll be giving my take on the book here in a bit. But like I said, let’s start by learning a little about this here book, okay?
(that banner is too small to read all the names, etc. Click here for the full sized version.)
Everybody in the kingdom is supporting the brave knight Leo in his battle against his fearsome dragons. They try lots of different things to help him defeat them but eventually Leo realises that the most important thing to do is to believe in himself. This beautifully illustrated book with a poignant and uplifting rhyming story encourages children to persevere and find strength in the face of adversity, even when it seems that nothing is working. Written by Gill White for her son Leo who suffers from Ohtahara Syndrome, an extremely rare form of epilepsy, and beautifully illustrated by Fife artist Gilli B, this story has been positively received by parents of children with complex needs, by care workers and medical staff and by parents of healthy young children who love the book simply as an adventure story. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to CHAS (Children’s Hospices across Scotland).
About the Book:
Gill White wrote this book for her son Leo, who was born with Ohtahara Syndrome, an extremely rare form of epilepsy. Fifty percent of children diagnosed with Ohtahara Syndrome do not live past their second birthday. Leo is now three and still battling in the face of adversity.
Gill wrote the story before Leo’s first birthday. It was a difficult time and Leo was having huge numbers of seizures every day. Feeling that Leo deserved a happier story, one in which his strength and bravery was rewarded, Gill wrote one for him.
She approached Gilli B, a Fife based artist, after seeing her artwork online and loving her whimsical and quirky style. Although she was only originally commissioned to do a few illustrations, she actually loved the story so much she asked to illustrate the whole thing and Leo got his own ’book’ for his birthday!
The following year, Gill had packed his book for a visit to the CHAS Hospice Rachel House and came back one day to find that the nursing staff had read it and written the most amazing comments inside.
Bolstered by their enthusiasm, Gill approached Edinburgh author Peter Burnett for some advice on how to get the book published. He took the book to Clare Cain at Fledgling Press, who fortunately loved the book. Fledgling Press do not normally publish children’s books but made an exception in this case, to help raise awareness of Ohtahara Syndrome and CHAS – Children’s Hospices Across Scotland.
About the Story:
Drawing from the family’s experiences, Gill created this little kingdom of people who are all trying to help Leo fight the lightning dragons using their various skills. Eventually, strengthened by their support, love and encouragement, Leo is able to realise that the most important thing to do is to believe in himself.
This beautifully illustrated book with a poignant and uplifting rhyming story encourages children to persevere and find strength in the face of adversity, even when it seems that nothing is working.
Through the story of Leo and his ‘invisible’ dragons, we can teach children that we don’t always know what battles someone is fighting and it is important to be kind because even the bravest knights need a little help sometimes.
Leo & The Lightning Dragons’ Social Media:
I’m very tempted to copy all of the content from the book’s website to this post, but I’ll limit myself to borrowing the above—there is so much great content there, you’ve gotta check it out. While you’re at it, try these, too:
My thanks to Love Books Group for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.