Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon

Nickerbacher, The Funniest DragonTitle: Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon
Author: Terry John Barto
Illustrator: Kim Sponaugle
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 978-1-4969-5454-1

“It doesn’t matter what I think. It’s what you know in your heart that matters,” Nickerbacher is told in Terry John Barto’s children’s book,  Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon.

This thirty-four-page oversized paperback targets children ages five to eight years old. With no scary or awkward scenes, the book is about a dragon that wants to become a comedian. The full-page, full-color illustrations by Sponaugle are colorful and engaging, following the storyline with interesting details. A separate eight-page activity book that can be downloaded has a maze, map, word scramble, door hangar, author’s biography, answer key, order game, and picture to color.

In this story that promotes setting goals, a green and blue dragon’s mission in life is to protect a princess according to his father. But the dragon named Nickerbacher would rather tell jokes and be a comedian.

When the non-aggressive dragon tells Princess Gwendolyn his dream of entertaining on the stage, she supports his wishes and urges him to speak to his father. But before the large beast has time to talk to his papa, Prince Happenstance appears, wanting to take the princess away from her guarded tower.

With Nickerbacher’s job to protect Gwendolyn, instead of killing the newcomer with his fiery flames that spew out of his mouth, he begins a conversation with the prince that includes jokes. Initially the prince taunts him, expecting a duel, but the placid, peaceful dragon would rather make the young man laugh.

In time, the prince conveys that he would rather be an athlete than a prince who slays dragons. Nickerbacher has his dreams come true when he performs comedy on a live stage, telling the audience more of his quirky, corny jokes.

Although the story contains several jokes that five-year-olds may not comprehend, it does show how setting a goal and accomplishing a lifetime dream can bring happiness. Including the online extra activity book helps children remember the story and think about goals and dreams.

Director and choreographer of more than two hundred theater productions, Barto is also an author and creative director living in Southern California with his two dogs. Illustrator Sponaugle graduated from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and has illustrated over fifty children’s books.

Thanks to The Book Club Network and the author for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reviewer’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on Book Fun Network and Amazon with links on, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.



Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review

5 responses to “Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon

  1. The Activity Kit doesn’t come with the book but it can be downloaded at
    Just want to clarify that so people ordering the book on-line won’t be expecting it to come with the book.

  2. About the Illustrator
    Kim Sponaugle, a graduate or the Art Institute of Philadelphia, started Pictures Kitchen Studios in 2007 and since has illustrated over 50 books for kids. Pictures Kitchen Studios has been honored to receive numerous awards including Mom’s Choice, Pinnacle Book Award, CIPA EVVY and Reader’s Favorite Awards. Visit

  3. Thx, Terry – I love it when author’s reply on blog posts 🙂 Keep on writing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s