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Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon by Terry John Barto

Nickerbacher is the only dragon who wants to make people laugh. And in the process, he encourages the prince (and kids) to be themselves and follow their dreams.

"Overall, this dramatic story about a dragon stand-up comedian will likely entertain readers of all ages." - Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496954541
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 01/14/2015
Pages: 34
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.09(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

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Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
D_Donovan More than 1 year ago
There's plenty to recommend in Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon, a comical dragon story that sports exceptionally colorful pages, fun drawings throughout by Kim Sponaugle, and a tale that lends particularly well to parental read-aloud for kids looking for stories about dragons. It's a 34-page saga of a sweet-tempered (but fierce-looking) dragon who is charged with guarding a princess - but his dreams are quite different than his task; for he longs to be a stand-up comic instead: something that clearly doesn't lend to his dragon stature and his allotted task in life. Nickerbacher only wants to make everyone laugh, and his princess charge is supportive of his dreams; but he still believes them impossible, until a prince appears who harbors his own impossible dream. "It doesn't matter what I think. It's what you know in your heart that matters." This is the underlying lesson in a whimsical, fun story that is simply delightful to read and supported by vibrant, fun illustrations: everything a parent could wish for in an entertaining picture book with an inspirational message.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a sweet book with a great, positive message! Kids LOVE the jokes and we appreciate the lesson of following your dreams, even if they seem beyond the realm of possibility!  
Judithreviewer More than 1 year ago
Who doesn’t love dragons; but, a dragon with a cracking sense of humor, why that may just be the best kind of dragon! Nickerbacher is just such a young dragon. He loves to tell jokes and wants so badly to be a stand-up comedian, but his papa would rather he obey the long-standing dragon tradition of protecting princesses, breathing fire, and fighting knights. Princess Gwendolyn and Prince Happenstance, who Nickerbacher jokingly calls Prince Fancypants, also have their own dreams. The three of them encourage one another to follow their visions. They are the best kind of friends. This book by Terry John Barto has a lively pace and funny jokes that mesmerize the young reader, the younger ones being read to and the older ones who can now read to themselves and to one another. The illustrations are carefully rendered in a lively, page-turning style that keeps up with the text pacing. The art depicts a pleasing and droll young dragon with Groucho Marx eyebrows and a prince who carries modern-day mints to toss to dragons. The book is a must in the classroom as it encourages young readers from 7 to 10 or so to keep picking up books. Teachers will no doubt hear a lot of jokes after introducing this book and can use it to set up a little writing unit about humor, maybe even have children make their own illustrated comedic books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 What a sweet, fun book that I enjoyed reading to my daughters!  They loved the story and funny jokes and I loved the message that it taught them.  It was also fun to read to them using different voices for the characters.  We all really loved another book by this author (Gollywood, Here I Come!), so my girls wanted to get this one and they were equally as thrilled!  So nice to find some fun books that deliver a good message!
TJ9000 More than 1 year ago
A great book about being yourself. I wish I had a book like this when I was a kid. This is a story adults will relate to and has a great message for kids. Not since The Lion King has there been such a heartwarming father/son story. It's nice to introduce my boy to reading with a book that he connects with... and my daughter loves absolutely loves Nickerbacher.
Judy_Fletcher More than 1 year ago
A Modern Day Fairy Tale. I am so excited about this new book. How fun is a Dragon who becomes a standup comedian. I really enjoyed the cute little jokes like “Why did it take so long to cross the road” “Cause I’m a dragon.” The Princess is appreciative of Nickerbacher’s humor and so will kids of all ages. The story is well written and the illustrations are outstanding.
Literary_Classics_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Nickerbacher the dragon loves to make people laugh so much that he aspires to one day become a comedian. Nickerbacher's father, however, expects him to fulfill his duty as a dragon to guard the fair Princess Gwendolyn. Torn between duty and the desire to follow his dreams, Nickerbacher must make some big decisions. Nickerbacher the Funniest Dragon, by Terry John Barto, is an enchanting tale about family, friendship, duty and dreams. Interspersed with funny jokes, as told by Nickerbacher, this book is sure to inspire children to follow their destiny while honoring family. Expressive and whimsical illustrations by Kim Sponaugle are perfectly paired with this lovely book which will entertain and delight young readers.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon is a fantasy for children, grades K-3, written by Terry John Barto and illustrated by Kim Sponaugle. Nickerbacher was a young dragon who didn’t feel that his job of guarding Princess Gwendolyn in her tower was what he should be doing with his life. He really liked to tell jokes, which he did all of the time, and he wanted to be a stand-up comedian. Gwendolyn liked his jokes and thought he should follow his dreams and become a comic, but Nickerbacher was worried about what his father would think. His father believed that all dragons should guard princesses, and he placed Gwendolyn under Nickerbacher’s care. When a young prince rode up to see the princess, Nickerbacher knew he was supposed to scare him away, but Nickerbacher really only wanted to tell him jokes. Terry John Barto’s children’s fantasy picture book, Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon, features a very unusual dragon who sees humor and wit as his weapons, and who wants to do stand-up comedy. He has to find the courage to first tell his very frightening father what he wants to do with his life, and then to appear before an audience as a stand-up comic for the first time. The positive and inspiring message of this story is driven home in a hilarious way through the young dragon’s inability to do anything else but make jokes. Kim Sponaugle’s pen and ink drawings have gloriously colorful washes that make this story larger than life, a fitting thing indeed for a tale about dragons. The characters’ expressions are fabulous, especially Nickerbacher, whose bushy eyebrows are exceptional. Adults will have a marvelous time reading this story and sharing the pictures during storytelling sessions, but it’s also a great book for young readers. Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon is most highly recommended.
Niki_Flowers More than 1 year ago
Once again Terry John Barto has written an awesome story about following your dreams and believing in yourself. :D Nickerbacher is a dragon who thinks he needs to follow in his father's footsteps as a princess protector, but with the help of the princess and "Prince Fancypants" he realizes that he can follow his dream to become a comedian. This book is great for kids and parents alike. Everyone will enjoy how funny Nickerbacher is, I know my son and I both did. We cannot wait for Mr. Barto's next book, we know it will be just as fantastic as his first two. He knows the importance of finding your dreams, following your heart, and trusting your friends and family to be there for you along the way.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
A recipient of the Mom's Choice Awards! The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Using a rigorous evaluation process, entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media trust the MCA Honoring Excellence seal when selecting quality products and services for families and children.
Patti_Negri More than 1 year ago
Fun, funny and fabulous!  Wonderful book with a wonderful message.  A "must read" for the kid set!  (Adults will love it too!)  Patti Negri, Brain Brew Entertianment  
TheHungryMonster More than 1 year ago
The story of Nickerbacher takes you on a journey of mystical beings and starry-eyed dreams. It's an adventure with a dragon and a prince and princess. Nickerbacher is a dragon destined for a life of working as a protector of princesses- a job that was proudly held by his father and his father before that. However, Nickerbacher dreams of something more and wants to perform on The Late Knight Show where he can show off his comedic value. With the help of a leprechaun, a prince and other magical beings, can Nickerbacher change the hearts and minds of all La La Land? Nickerbacher, written by Terry John Barto, is a fun-loving children’s novel based on the story of a dragon and his friends. Nickerbacher dreams of being something more than a dragon protector of princesses and sets his sights on becoming a comedian. There is an underlying message that children will love as it promotes following your dreams even if other people may not believe that you can achieve them. Throughout the story, the fantasy characters participate in modern-day activities, like taking selfies with mystical beings or trying to fit their feet into the prints of famous celebrities. This provides a modern twist to a classically styled fairy tale that combine beautifully in this incredible city. My favorite character is Miss Phoenix, a receptionist who rises from the ashes to greet the unlikely trio. She is dedicated to her work but has a heart of gold which sings true to the end. Pictures are included throughout the novel which brings to life the extraordinary fun loving characters. My favorite image is one that includes ghosts and goblins at the Fairywood Forever Cemetery, royal chariots at LAX and the Medieval Tar Pits. The images are a mix of castles with high rise style buildings that replicate a similar style of what I would imagine LA would look like if it had been sprinkled with a touch of fairy dust. I love how the imagery complements the text and helps with engaging the reader in expanding their imagination. This story will help children to learn the importance of friendship and believing in yourself. Nickerbacher also touches on issues such as family, societal expectations and breaking through the barriers of life in a fun and engaging story line. Children will relate to parts of the story and see parts of themselves in each of the magical beings. I love the relationship between Princess Gwendolyn and Nickerbacher and how they break the stereotypes of the typical dragon and Princess friendship. I would recommend Nickerbacher to any school-aged children who wants to be lost in the magic of La La Land. This book would be perfect as a bedtime story to be read aloud as Terry John’s Barto’s wonderful way with words will delight all children and adults alike.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by JB McPherson for Readers' Favorite Nickerbacher by Terry John Barto is a charming book for young children about a dragon who wants to be a stand-up comedian in La La Land. As everyone knows, dragons are only supposed to protect princesses, but Nickerbacher has a dream. His princess (and friend) Gwendolyn encourages him to pursue it, but he must navigate many steps. He must tell his fire-breathing Papa Dragon, contrive to get to La La Land, and convince the Late Knight Show host, Johnny Kingston, to give him a chance. He even faces the challenge of developing his jokes, getting a coach, and conquering stage fright. The fanciful details of life in La La Land give this simple story of pursuing a dream an enchanting quality. The copious illustrations by Kim Sponaugle enhance the book, and in some sequences advance the plot with montage-like images to show Nickerbacher’s hard work and determination. The theme of not giving up, even if you are different, enriches the plot. By the end, Papa and Mama Dragon are in the audience, and Nickerbacher wins them over to his pursuit of the stage. Young children will delight in the imaginative story and delightful illustrations, and they will identify with Nickerbacher’s longing to do something that may seem different to others. This is a good chapter book for 3rd-5th graders but younger children will enjoy having it read aloud to them. Nickerbacher by Terry John Barto is a delightful tale, sparkling with an imaginative world where dragons and princesses overcome real-world challenges. Wonderful book!
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
What a great message in a fun book. Who doesn't love dragons, especially colourful, goofy-looking ones. Nickerbacher is supposed to be guarding the princess. It is what dragons do and his father told him to. But what happens when he wants to be a comedian? When Prince Happenstance or should I say Prince Fancypants shows up to rescue the princess, Nickerbacher has some fun. The prince is confused until he finds out that Nicherbacher really wants to be a comedian. He tells him that he wants to be a baseball player. They decide that they need to follow their dreams. When Nickerbacher performs a great show, he finds out his parents were there and that they are proud of him. Parents unconditional love showing here. He goes on to be a great comedian. What a great way to show kids that it is okay to try new things and follow their dreams. I loved the illustrations, they were fun and colourful. A great book for school, classroom, public and family libraries. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
Nickerbacher is a dragon who would rather be a comedian than guard a princess! I thought the jokes were cute and I loved how Nickerbacher persevered even when it was hard. Although his family is against his change in profession, they do rally around him and show strong family ties. I thought this was a good book to encourage children to pursue their passion. I received this book from in return for my honest opinion.
TCramer More than 1 year ago
What a sweet funny story! If your child likes dragons, especially dragons with a sense of humor, this will be a great book for them to read or for you to read to them. Nickerbacher, is a dragon just doing his job of guarding Princess Gwendolyn. After all, that's what dragons do - guard princesses. He likes Princess Gwendolyn but he really wants to be a standup comedian. He has a gift of making others laugh. You'll have to read the story, which I'm certain you'll enjoy, to find out what Nickerbacher decides to do. The illustrations are also fantastic. I'm looking forward to reading this to my grandson - more than once! I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network ( in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a fun, lighthearted and engaging book for kids! I read this to all four of mine ranging in ages from 13 down to 6 and they all loved it. The beautiful water-color painted pages are colorful and very well done! The characters are adorable and very relatable to kids. The story itself is unique and very fun to read. Who doesn’t love a princess locked in a tower, a dragon who wants to be a comedian, and a mint toting prince who only wants to play baseball! We get pulled into the life of Nickerbacher the dragon as he is guarding the princess in a tower. All he wants to be is a comedian! This story is about living dreams and becoming what you have always wanted to be. It teaches us that it’s not easy and you have to be willing to make a leap to make your dreams come true. Adorable and definitely a bookshelf keeper! You can also download your very own activity kit to go along with the book – another fun set of activities. I highly recommend! I received this book from for an honest review.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon is a cute book for kids. It has a wonderful lesson of following a dream. I read this book to my children and they thought it was funny. The illustrations were bright and fun, which I enjoyed the most. I would give this book 4 stars. I received this book from in exchange for my honest opinion , which was given.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Nickerbacher is a young dragon guarding a castle. His father gave him the assignment, but he really wants to be a comedian. He confides his wishes to the young princess that he is currently guarding. She encourages him to follow his heart and talk to his father. Bright, colorful artwork fills each page and help tell the story. The message of taking chances, being true to oneself, and acceptance is prominent throughout the story. Children will enjoy the humorous illustrations. Parents will appreciate the opening provided by the story for further discussion. My children, especially my daughter, really enjoyed the story and wanted me to read it to them again. So it was a hit with our family. I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Nickerbacher the Funniest Dragon is a storybook about a dragon guarding a princess who would really like to be a comedian instead. Filled with lovely illustrations and cleverly written dialog between the dragon, prince, and princess this tale focuses on the dragon for a change. Family love and pursuing your dreams are also very important lessons taught throughout as well. So with a happily ever after for a dragon, this is a fairytale young children will most likely enjoy. I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
Nickerbacher, the dragon, had been doing what dragons had been doing for years, guarding princesses. He wasn’t particularly happy about this. He did not feel called to it nor did he feel fulfilled by doing it. What he really wanted to do was be a stand-up comedian. One day Prince Happenstance comes to the castle to rescue the princess. They both discover that they each have aspirations which go past their prescribe path in life. Perhaps, with a little encouragement and courage they can each fulfill their dream. This unusual twist on a fairy tale is filled with delightful colorful pictures. The drawings of the dragon would not be scary to even the youngest reader. Following ones dream and the support of family are all reinforced in this charming book. I received this from The Book Club Network in exchange for my opinion
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon by Terry John Barto is a wonderful, new children’s book. In it, Nickerbacher is doing his assigned job of guarding a princess when she convinces him to pursue his dream of being a stand up comedian. Nickerbacher finds that being a comedian is a lot more work than he thought. I enjoyed and would highly recommend Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon and found it to be a great book for young children. When ordering the book, you can download a fantastic activity kit here: I received this book from the Book Club Network and the author in exchange for my honest opinion which I’ve provided here.
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon by Terry John Barto. What a great book about perseverance, finding something you love and pursuing it, and encouraging others in their pursuit of a dream. I read this with my six-year-old and not only did he enjoy picking out words he could read, but he loved the names of the characters, the pictures that drew him in closer to me while we read, and the story itself. This is a wonderful book for children. A light read with depth layered in, this will be a favorite for years to come. I received this book for free from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
Nickerbacher thought he was stuck in the traditional role of dragons: protecting princesses. He wanted to be a stand-up comic but he was afraid to tell his father. When a prince comes along he encourages Nickerbacher to tell his family. When he does, it changes Nickerbacher and the prince's lives. Such a great story about not giving up dreams and the illustrations, by Kim Sponaugle, are so colorful and attention-grabbing. This is the second book by Terry John Barto. He has a name in the entertainment world, so he knows about helping others with their dreams. I was given this book by in exchange for my honest review.
debhgrty More than 1 year ago
Deb’s Dozen: The Dragon, Princess, and Prince: A Comedian, Runaway Bride, and Baseball Player? Nickerbacher, the Funniest Dragon, had a huge problem. His father had assigned him to guard the princess. But Nickerbacher didn’t want to guard the princess—and the princess didn’t want guarding. Nickerbacher wanted to be a stand-up comedian—but who ever heard of a dragon who was a comedian? So Nickerbacher practices his jokes on the princess—“Why did I cross the road?” “Because I was a-draggin’.” Princess Gwendolyn wanted to run away with Prince Happenstance (whom Nickerbacher promptly called Prince FancyPants). What should they do? What could they do? Did they have the courage to reach for their dreams? When the Prince comes to get the Princess, Nicherbacher tries out his jokes on him. The prince tells Nickerbacher he’s supposed to scare princes, not make them laugh. Gwen convinces Nickerbacher to tell his father he wants to be a stand-up comedian—that didn’t go well! Nickerbacher finds out Prince Happenstance wants to be a baseball player, but he was born a Prince—that doesn’t go well either. What to do? Where to go? What about their obligations? Terry John Barto has written a delightful children’s story about following your dreams—about daring to dream—about living your dreams and about having the courage to stand up to opposition. Children of all ages will appreciate this story about the dragon, the princess, and the prince. The illustrations by Kim Sponaugle greatly add to the enjoyment of the story. In addition to the book, Barto has an activity pack that complements the book available on his website, You and your child will enjoy the antics of Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon.Four stars! Terry John Barto is a director and choreographer of regional theater productions, television, industrials, and cruise ship shows. He’s honed many different ideas into great stories, has written screenplays for animation features, and has led a team of artists to develop dolls and action figures to go along with the stories. Book Fun Magazine gave me a copy of Nickerbacher, the Funniest Dragon in exchange for my candid review.