Review from Galina Vasileva:
Great fun to read Dondobee!
First I thought Mr. Parry created Coal in my image and likeness! Not exactly of course, but the story of the character was somehow my story too. Did he tell my story? Yes, because we all share similar experiences. This got me right into the book and I didn’t even realize when I went through half of it. Everything developed in a very vivid way. And the more I read further, the more alive the text became. Love those little creatures with big eyes and curling noses, and the wonderful landscape. It was far from my environment, but set up my fantasy in a great place, where I enjoyed to be – like in the fantasy movie. Right there Mr. Dale surprised me even more by introducing Princess Ponellla and her Prince; the bad, unwise, thick and possessive woman who leads on the leash her simple always submissive husband. Such a fun duo to watch! And again, I felt so close to the situation, who knows why, xoxoxo. The images from this book, are imprinted in my mind and they will stay there for a long time, so visual and so funny, that it feels like I saw everything with my own eyes.
The story unfolds covering a long period of time – couple of generations and that left me with feelings for completeness, also peace and wisdom.
Here’s another great review, this time from The Moving Words:
Dondobee or The Adventures of a Leolian Elf, written by Dale Parry, opens with introducing us to Coal, a dirty little urchin living in a black back alley and his invention of a unique musical instrument. An instrument through which he mastered such a melodious tune that all the birds and animals came to listen. One fine night his melody attracted two Leolian Elves who lived nearby. They danced and danced and danced. And came into an agreement with Coal, to be at his service for a lifetime in return of him playing them the music. This tale is about their son, Dondobee, the little Leolian elf, and his adventures in the castle.
The storyline is simple yet intriguing. It not only entertains readers but the narrative strikes them at various levels. It challenges and aspires to redefine beauty in a unique way. It makes readers think and teaches them to withhold their judgment. It also upholds the value of kindness and reiterates how things have value only when it brings happiness to others. These are integral lessons to impart to young readers.
Another thing that stands out about the book is its writing. It is effortless, lucid and has a natural flow to it. The plot never once lost its pace. In such fewer words, the author crafted detailed and amusing characters. I ended up feeling emotionally connected to not only our protagonist but also to others in the story like Coal, Rodo, Sheebee, and more. I adored Dondobee and I think it will be ideal for readers aged between 6 to 14 years. And I will also recommend it to all adults still young at heart like me.
(Critiqued by Abby for The Moving Words)