Stanley, a young dragon, has run away from home. He feels that he is a failure. As dragons go, he probably is. He’s kind, soft spoken, and a good friend. But he can’t, for the life of him, breathe FIRE! A lady bug named Persnickety is Stanley’s best friend and side kick. Emma is an earthling girl who lives on a farm and plays in the nearby forest with her magical friends. The loveable villain is a raven named City Slick, the Third. Thomas, the pedantic sea turtle, expresses himself in colorful seafaring lingo. Queen Cleo, queen of all the fairies. And Cheets, the effervescent elf.
One dark night Slick lures Stanley away from the forest and sells him to the circus. He is left chained, alone in a tent, until such time that he can breathe fire. The Queen of the Faeries gives Donald and Emma a quest; to go and find Stanley and rescue him.
While this is an adventure story full of laughter and quirky characters, it also teaches children that no matter what, it is never a good idea to run away from home and is frequently very dangerous. The fable addresses bigotry, greed, loyalty and kindness to others.
Reader's Views reviews for kids, by kids...
Sophia: "I liked this funny story about a dragon named Stanley. He ran away from home, because he couldn’t breathe fire... My favorite part is when Cheets the elf yells “dragon breath!” and starts running around and keeps yelling...
My favorite characters are Stare and Stanley. Even though Stare only knows the word “Who?, or Who!, or Who! Who! Who!,” I really like him because he is cute and funny. I like Stanley, because he was a kind dragon who didn't like to burn things up. I think this would be a really good movie!"
Madeline: "This story will take you on many adventures, including some with a nutty little elf named Cheets, a Queen named Cleo who rules over the faeries in the forest, and Stanley who will be the cause of all these exciting tales... The happiest moment in the story was when the Queen ordered the rescue of Stanley. I enjoyed this part of the story, because of the plan his friends had to save him from his trouble again. My favorite character is Cheets the elf, because he is crazy and funny."
Parent: "What a delightful story!... The characters are really sweet and it has a running dialogue of positive messages. I would highly recommend Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon by Trisha Sugarek to all parents."
"Our audiences loved it and the cast had so much fun. Since Stanley could only blow bubbles we rigged the actor with a special back pack equipped with a bubble machine. It brought the house down!!" - The Playhouse, Belfast, Maine
"Sugarek's remarkable fiction is her ability to draw depth into what might be cartoon characters." - Bookreview.com
"A warm, funny little tale about a little dragon who breathes bubbles!... each character is unforgettable and has their own unique quirks that make for very imaginative reading. And Sugarek has a very special way of tying together fairy tale and fable to make a story that's fun, believable, and instructive too" - Must Read Book Review, India
"... What a hoot. In the beginning pages of this delightful fable when Cheets, the elf scampers into the forest clearing announcing that he 'smells dragon breath,' my kids and I were sold. This is such a clever little story and my kids loved that Stanley couldn't breathe fire." - M. Carter, Artists Outlet
"Cheets is a perfectly irrepressible elf. Stanley the dragon is the opposite of his name. He only wishes he could be more ‘stalwart’. These ten characters live deep in the enchanted forest where all is bathed in beauty and peace. A perfect tool to teach young children to live better lives and respect folks that might be different from you. Stare, the rhetorical owl reminded this grandpa of the comedians, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in the skit ‘who’s on first’. Highly recommended." - Personal testimony