Monthly Archives: February 2019

Leo and the Lightning Dragons

Leo and the Lightning Dragons is about a real boy called Leo, written by his mother Gill White, and illustrated by Gilli B.

Gill White and Gilli B, Leo and the Lightning Dragons

‘Both’ the Leos have a very bad kind of epilepsy, and I can see why Gill would want to put this in a book. When your child has daily health battles, it can be good to know there is a book about you. Makes you feel special. And if you’re not Leo, you might have some other kind of illness, or epilepsy, and it’s empowering to find yourself in a book. Or there is nothing the matter with you, but it’s good to learn how other boys, and girls, live and fight.

I was a little worried this wouldn’t work, but it does. It’s a lovely book, showing just how much fighting some people have to do on a daily basis. And how the people around them also have a fight on their hands, and how everyone works very hard to make this bad thing better.

First we learn that an epileptic attack is like crackling lightning inside your head. It comes without warning. Not fair! Neither witches potions nor calming songs help. Wizards have tried to poison the dragons.

In the end Leo gets angry and decides to fight back, which is easier to do when so many people are helping.

This is obviously a really tough situation, but it shows that it’s possible to keep going. I’d like to think this will provide support for many little Leos out there.

(All royalties from the sale of this book will go to CHAS, Children’s Hospices Across Scotland.)

Witches Abroad

I seem to have chosen the way of the witches in the Discworld books as I work through them. Although that sounds like more of a hardship than this could ever be. I just feel I want to learn more about these esteemed ladies, Granny and Nanny.

Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

The first time I met Nanny Ogg – and I do not remember in which book – I had a different view of her; thinner, sharper, wiser. Not that she isn’t wise, or a little sharp, while being soft. Thin, not so much. That’s for Granny Weatherwax to be.

Going abroad is never easy, but I’m glad I don’t sit for that long on my broom, and I reckon their idea of some sort of broomline with food served is bound to catch on, especially if the seats aren’t too narrow.

In Witches Abroad Terry Pratchett manages to cover a large number of well known stories, all the way to Emberella herself in Genua, where servant girls have to marry the prince.

In fact, I believe what I liked here was that there were so many female characters, and they were strong, even if they used their abilities to do ‘wrong’ and the more I think about it, there weren’t many men at all, other than weak ones or drunk ones. Even dead ones.

As for the wrongly spelled Magrat and her wrong spell pumpkins, she will be all right. She even stood up to Granny. And who on earth knows when to stop when spelling banananana?

But if you want some of Terry’s clever observations as quotes, then you can read the book yourselves.