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)