Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all well and enjoying this typically autumnal weekend. 🍁
It’s been a while since I’ve read a book and felt the urge to blog about it straight away but here we are. I just couldn’t wait to share this beautiful book with you all. I had no idea it existed until I saw the pretty cover. Naturally and unsurprisingly, I left with arm fulls of books to add to my ever increasing shelves that I’m barely making in a dent in. However, I read this first and I haven’t been able to stop talking about it since. I’m here to share with you today the stunning book of love, courage, hope and friendship: Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury. I hope you fall in love with this just as much as I have.
What’s it all about?
This book definitely has The Boy, The Fox, The Mole and The Horse vibes but it’s stunning and heartfelt in its own right. Inspired by Norbury’s volunteering experience with the Samaritans, this gem of a book follows Big Panda and Tiny Dragon, two unlikely friends, that follow the seasons sharing hope and lessons for us all to learn from.
Throughout the book there are a series of conversations, sometimes silly, sometimes serious, which show a range of emotions and fears. The words of wisdom within this little book are all inspired by Buddhist philosophy and spirituality which gave Norbury hope during difficult times. I personally believe in fate and I found this book at this point in time for a reason. It gave me the heartwarming hug I needed. I’m passing this hug (virtually) onto you.
Big Panda and Tiny Dragon embark on a journey through the four seasons of the year together. Whilst on this journey, the journey of life, they get lost more often than not. This is something we all can relate to – whether it is getting lost on a journey of losing ourselves in times of doubt and question. However, it is what Big Panda and Tiny Dragon find when they are lost that makes the journey that little bit more special. They discover beautiful sights they have never seen before and would never have seen if they had gone the right way. Good things can come from mistakes we make.
“My head feels like this storm sometimes,” said Tiny Dragon.
“If you really listen…you can hear the raindrops splashing on the stone. It’s possible to find a little peace, even in a storm.”
It isn’t just the words that aid this beautiful story but the drawings too. I always appreciate things like this because I am not artistic in any way. Norbury’s use of bold brush strokes, the fluffy, cuddly Big Panda and the small, wiry Tiny Dragon, the meadows, lakes, forests and hills mean that each page is as beautiful as the last.
Big Panda and Tiny Dragon explore the thoughts and emotions surrounding hardships and happiness. This connects every single one of us together, reader or not. Whilst they see the offerings of nature through the seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, they learn to live in the moment and to embrace those gifts of nature. Big Panda and Tiny Dragon also learn how to be at peace with uncertainty and how to find the strength to overcome life’s obstacles. They do it together. These conversations show us friendship, inner wisdom and self acceptance.
This book felt like a breath of fresh air. It’s been so easy for us to feel overwhelmed with life pausing and starting up again. We each have been tested and tried in our lifetimes and sometimes it is easier to give up. This little book has the biggest heart and is there for you when you need it. Read it cover to cover, look for your favourite conversation, find the lesson that suits your current experience. The series of vignettes mean that you can read this however you want to really. It is there as in inspiration, a reminder that not all is lost. Pause. Breathe. Enjoy. Look at life in a positive way.
I just have so much love for this book. It reminded me of me, of the most amazing group of family and friends I’ve got around me. Like I said at the beginning, I found this book for a reason and I’ll be spreading the message of this book near and far. I adore the drawings that bring the lessons to life too. All I keep thinking now is, I really want my own Big Panda and Tiny Dragon. To finish my review, my favourite quote.
“Some people are like candles. They burn themselves out to create light for others.”
With so much love to you all but especially to my candles…
Big love xxx