by Joyce Chng and Kim Miranda
Ho Yi is the average pre teenager. Like many of his peers, he hopes to one day to be as great a rider as his parents. The problem is Ho Yi uses a crutch and is not as able as his classmates. He has difficulty keeping up with his daily chores. He has few friends and even has a bully who makes life for him much more difficult. Ho Yi's teachers are harsh and unforgiving. He takes all of this in stride and continues to work hard towards his goal. One day he is surprised by a visit from his parents. He is also surprised when he learns he has been accepted as a dragon rider trainee.
There is so much to love about Sundragon's Song. Joye Chng definitely sets a high bar. It's difficult to be objective about this review. As a parent, I feel for Ho Yi on so many levels. I dig the fact that his father is very loving while his mother is a disciplinarian. The reader will note that his parents are worried that they might be projecting their greatest fears onto Ho Yi. There is a moment where Ho Yi even says he does not want to be a dragon rider anymore.
This is where the artwork is crucial to the story. Kim Miranda's art definitely pops. The artwork perfectly reflects the parents dismay at Ho Yi's declaration. Ho Yi's mother's sterness is displayed enough for the reader to catch without reading any of the words. While the dragons are the not the usual size and length, the depiction makes it realistic enough to see them as creatures that can be tamed and ridden.
|Our 12 year old in the background and our 10 year old |
in the fore front practicing Praying Mantis
Of course, no review cannot be complete without referring to our highly critical twelve year old artist and our rambunctious and hard to please ten year old. Our twelve year old was impressed by the artwork and admitted that it was something he was not used to seeing. Our ten year old thoroughly enjoyed the story. Our ten year old admitted that sometimes he felt the same way Ho Yi did and would find himself worrying about how disappointed we would be if he did not live up to our standards. We all enjoyed having this discussion. It shed so much light on how we really felt about one another. I considered using this story in my class. While I find the topics on parenting to be something very heavy to cover in a comic book, I think Chng did a great job doing so in such a short amount of time.
Sundragon's Song is age appropriate and I find that any reader will pull something from it. It is also a great example of how the comic format can tell a story that seeks to educate the reader. I agree with my sons that the story is something different to the comic format. Again, Rosarium Publishing has chosen another great story to add to it's catalog.