Dragons in the Barn

Lola's Adventures

Children - Adventure
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/20/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennie More for Readers' Favorite

Dragons in the Barn by Ennes Higgins is the story of four siblings engrossed in their digital devices. Lola is on her iPad researching global warming, Liam and Toby with the laptop are watching funny cat videos, and Sara, the teenager, is chatting away on her cell phone with her friends. When the children don’t listen to their grandma, she takes away their devices and instructs them to clean the barn. Discouraged by the filth in the barn, Lola cracks on with the work, thinking the sooner they finish cleaning, the sooner she can get back to her research project, but her siblings have other plans. Liam and Toby set the game in motion, and Sara, the eldest, surprisingly, is also willing. Three of the siblings search for ways to defend themselves from the imaginary hungry dragons, but Lola feels out of place because this imaginative game does not come as easily to her as it does to her siblings. With some help from their grandma, Lola finds a way to let her imagination run free.

Dragons in the Barn by Ennes Higgins is a well-written story that is insightful, refreshing, and relevant to our times. I remember a time when playing in the yard and using your imagination was the best fun you could have. Due to digital transformation and parents attempting to balance work and home life, digital devices have become the go-to toy to keep children busy. Higgins explores this troubling reality and reminds children and adults alike about the importance of using your imagination and how, unlike the world, through imagining, anything is possible and thus more fun and exhilarating. On the other hand, the story also shows how the brilliant young Lola uses her intelligence in the imaginative world; therefore, intellect and imagination complement one another. Dragons in the Barn by Ennes Higgins is a heart-warming story that I loved reading.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Lola is really rather smart. Unfortunately, others tease her for her cleverness and she doesn’t like that. When Nana tells Lola and her siblings to go clean the barn after breakfast, Lola resists – she’d much rather play with her friends online. But Nana knows best: there’s nothing better than a good round of cleaning outdoors, in a cluttered old barn, to spark the imagination and conjure up all kinds of fun. When her siblings confront several dragons, Lola resists believing. She’d much rather resort to her wealth of knowledge than join in the fun and adventure of a make-believe world. While her siblings fight dragons, Lola recites facts about dragons, but gradually the fantasy becomes too enticing and even a brainy kid realizes that an adventure can be stimulating.

Ennes Higgins’ early reader, Dragons in the Barn: Lola’s Adventures, is a clever and fun read, one that will inspire young readers to spark their own imaginations and have fantastical adventures of their own. Told in simple language to help the young reader read along or alone, and accompanied by intuitive and exciting illustrations, the plot follows a steady progression from a typical breakfast with Nana to an adventure of unfathomable dimensions in a cluttered old barn. The descriptive passages are thorough and inviting, but not overwhelming. The author sets the stage and invites readers into the story. Character development is well done and dialogue is used effectively. The reader can sense the building tension as the plot thickens. And, to allow reader intervention, there is an interactive exercise at the end as well as a link to the recipe for Nana’s delicious chocolate chip muffins. The story is a great way to encourage young readers to allow their imaginations to take flight. Loved it!

Amy Louise Hill

Dragons in the Barn: Lola's Adventures by Ennes Higgins is a fun and educational picture book for children. One day whilst sitting at their Nana's kitchen table, siblings Lola, Liam, Toby, and Sara, are glued to their electronic devices. Nana finally has enough of her grandchildren staring at screens and sends them out to the barn to clean up. The children are unsurprisingly reluctant but do as their Nana asks. The barn is full of junk and the children see cleaning up as a pointless chore. That soon changes when Liam hears a noise. Liam is sure he hears something, and so do Toby and Sara soon after. Lola realizes that her siblings have started a make-believe game, and is undecided whether to join in or not. After much thought, Lola finally gives in and plays along. What was it that made the noise everyone heard? And where will the game take them?

Dragons In the Barn was a lot of fun to read. It starts with a common problem most parents face nowadays; children constantly looking at a screen and not paying attention to what is happening around them. This book will easily guide children back to how it was in the good old days when electronics weren't so advanced. It will spark creativity from the very first page which will soon lead them into creating their own make-believe game. The illustrations are unique and fit beautifully within the storyline.
So if your child is a screen addict then Dragons In the Barn will be a perfect read. I highly recommend this book to all parents and wish the author Ennes Higgins all the best in future projects.

Vincent Dublado

Dragons in the Barn by Ennes Higgins celebrates the magic and power of children's imaginations. Lola, her twin brother Liam, their little brother Toby, and their big sister Sara are having a lazy morning glued to their gadgets at the breakfast table. Their Nana tells them that today will be a no-electronics day and they must tidy up the barn. Lola doesn't like the idea because she would rather do some online research. Little Toby's imagination starts to run wild as he thinks of an old bucket as a helmet and that the rumbling of an old tractor is a growling dragon. Their high fantasy adventure in the huge barn begins. However, Lola finds it difficult to take part in the childish game, but the success of this make-believe exploit depends on her. Will Lola be able to take part and save the day?

Dragons in the Barn has a strong message not only to kids but to adults as well. I subscribe to the idea of making kids take a break from their fixation on gadgets to do physical activities that promote motor skills. Ennes Higgins uses an inviting way to lure readers back into the old days when playtime was oozing with fun from exercising the mind. Illustrator Dimi di Lupa has a classic and homely style, drawn from being inspired by the works of masters such as Tony Wolf and Arthur Rackham. This story shows how imagination can reinforce our social bonds with the people who are close to us. This book is a must-read. School libraries should have this on their shelves.

Pikasho Deka

Dragons in the Barn: Lola's Adventures is a children's adventure fantasy picture book written by Ennes Higgins with some mesmerizing illustrations by Dimi di Lupa. Eight-year-old Lola loves books, spending each moment of her time researching about one thing or the other on her tablet. But when, out of the blue, Nana declares a no-electronics day and tells Lola and her siblings to clean up the barn, Lola can't wait to be done with her chores and get back to her research. Her patience is further tested by her siblings, who choose to spend their time in the barn playing an imagination-based game involving dragons. Feeling left out of the fun, Lola goes back to Nana, upon whose advice she returns to the barn and joins her siblings in taming the three ferocious dragons.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. This age-old adage is seamlessly incorporated by author Ennes Higgins in this fun fantasy adventure tale that follows an eight-year-old girl as she discovers the power of imagination. Dimi di Lupa's beautifully drawn illustrations bring the characters to life and splash color onto the pages, making them all the more compelling to read. The characters are brimming with personality, with distinct voices and traits that make them stand out. Lola is an immensely likable protagonist who you find easy to sympathize with and care for. I had a lot of fun reading Dragons in the Barn: Lola's Adventures, and I would highly recommend it to children of all ages.