Squire With Fire

Yule Be Gone

Children - Mythology/Fairy Tale
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 05/31/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite

Squire With Fire: Yule Be Gone by Joseph Cassis is a lovely children’s book about how Sir Henry finds their Christmas decorations burned. He assumes that it was Luka, the small white dragon that Mackenzie wanted to stay in the castle. Quickly, they realize that Luka cannot breathe fire, and while Mackenzie goes to find the other squires to help clean up, Luka meets Helga. Helga is a Nisse. She and her family were left behind when the Scottish knights chased the Vikings away after a fight. Helga is all alone and angry and that is why she destroys the castle's Christmas decorations. Luka and Mackenzie agree to help Helga find her parents, but in the chaos when some bully dragons attack, Luka’s mom is turned into a bullfrog. To change her back, Luka must find a Nisse who lives in the barn and cares for the horses. Ultimately, the Nisse, knights, and dragons celebrate Christmas and Yule together.

Joseph Cassis has written a lovely and colorful illustrated children’s book that teaches children about the celebration of cultures in a household. The book aims to explain the Norwegian traditions surrounding Yule and Christmas. Many traditions are rooted in ancient superstitions and have become a central part of European Christmas celebrations so that few remember their original purpose. The story is fun and teaches children about having respect for the beliefs and traditions of others, recognizing their heritage, and celebrating it. An important lesson is to admit when you have done wrong and to rectify that wrong as best you can. Children are also shown that if you make a promise, you have to keep it. Young readers will enjoy listening to the story, and older readers will enjoy reading this story and making it part of their Yule traditions in years to come.

Philip Van Heusen

Squire with Fire: Yule Be Gone by Joseph Cassis is an exciting children’s book about family, friends, and traditions. Grandpa tells MacKenzie an old family story about a squire named MacKenzie in Scotland. She has a pet dragon named Luka. Someone or something has destroyed the Christmas decorations in the castle. Luka is blamed but declares his innocence. Soon, Luka meets Helga, a Nisse, and learns that she messed up the decorations because she lost her parents. MacKenzie, Luka, and Luka’s parents fly to the woods to replace the Christmas decorations while looking for Helga’s parents. As the group hunts for Helga’s family, three bully dragons attack Luka and Helga. Do they find Helga’s parents? Do the bullies destroy Helga and Luka? How does the story end? Find out as you learn about Scottish, Nordic, and African traditions.

Joseph Cassis' Squire with Fire is for children ages 3 to 11. The story is full of magic and fantasy, and readers will enjoy learning about various traditions: Kwanzaa, Yule, Scottish, and Viking. Joseph includes coloring pages at the end of the book to enhance the child reader’s enjoyment. I love the fact that different heritages blend so well together. Time with family and friends is an overarching theme of this book, including the need to help our friends. Traditions are the glue that binds families together. They help people identify their past and build relationships that will last a lifetime. Older children may read this book by themselves, but younger children will need you to read it. Be sure to discuss your family traditions and heritage. Everyone has a unique background, which makes them special. Help your child understand how special they are.

Pikasho Deka

Squire With Fire: Yule Be Gone is a children's fairy tale by Joseph Cassis. When the Knight Commander, Sir Henry, discovers that the castle's Christmas decorations have been torn down and burned, he suspects the young dragon, Luka. But his squire, Mackenzie, reminds him that Luka can't breathe fire. It turns out that a mischievous little Nisse called Helga from North Country has done the deed because she can't spend Yule time with her parents. Soon, Mackenzie, Luka, and Luka's parents accompany Helga to search for her parents in the forest. But the forest is also home to some mean dragons. Helga and her parents use their magic to turn the mean dragons into gentle bullfrogs. However, accidentally, Luka's mom also turns into a bullfrog. Will the youngsters be able to spend Christmas and Yule with their families?

Squire With Fire is a wondrous adventure tale that celebrates the spirit of Christmas and entertains young readers along the way. Drawing inspiration from Norwegian mythology and folklore, Joseph Cassis tells a wholesome story that is bound to bring joy to young fantasy lovers. Featuring dragons, knights, squires, and exciting adventure quests, Cassis has built an immersive world that you will enjoy. With a combination of lovely artwork, humor, and a compelling cast of characters, the author ensures you have a blast reading this book. I absolutely adored Luka and Helga. Mackenzie is also someone you will find easy to root for. Overall, I had a wonderful time reading this book. If you're a fan of fantasy or fairy tales, you definitely don't want to miss out on this one!

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Have you ever been accused of doing something bad that you didn’t do? In Joseph Cassis’s Squire With Fire, Luka, the little white dragon, is accused of destroying the Christmas decorations in the castle and setting things on fire. But he didn’t do it. In fact, he can’t even breathe fire like other dragons. He has to clean up the mess he didn’t make. Then he meets a magical tiny person, a Norwegian Nisse, Helga, and she confesses. She’s sad because the Vikings had split her from her family and now she’s all alone for Christmas (or Yule as she calls it). She helps Luka clean up her mess and then the squire and Luka agree to help her find and reunite with her family. But there are some mean dragons in the way and the reunion might be doomed. Unless…

in Joseph Cassis’s picture book, Squire With Fire: Yule Be Gone, Luka learns to accept responsibility, even if he’s not the root of the problem. He also learns to forgive when the culprit, Helga, confesses and offers to help. The plot follows Luka as he cleans up the mess in the castle, meets Helga, and goes into the forest on an adventure that might change his life and those he loves most. Luka and his friends in the castle, as well as his parents, use collaborative skills to solve one problem after another. It’s a challenge and danger is nearby, threatening their quest, but they manage to succeed with some extra help from other Nisses. Later, the family can sit around and enjoy each other’s company, sharing stories – a great way to celebrate the Christmas festivities. At the end of the book are some of the stories they shared, as well as some pictures to color. The illustrations are bright, bold, and colorful and make this book a work of art to be cherished and enjoyed for years to come.

Lois J Wickstrom

Squire With Fire: Yule Be Gone by Joseph Cassis tells the story of a little dragon who is falsely accused of burning all the Christmas decorations. Squire MacKenzie and Sir Henry decorated their living room for Christmas with an upside-down Christmas tree, garlands, and other decorations. When they came home, they found everything was burned, and the room smelled like rotten eggs. Sir Henry blamed little Luka, the dragon. He blamed Squire MacKenzie, too, because the squire had promised that Luka would be on his best behavior when he was in the castle. The men decided to go to the woods to get another tree. They assigned Luka to clean up the mess. While Luka was cleaning up, he found Helga, a magical Nisse, who admitted that she had started the fire because she was mad and sad.

Children will enjoy watching Luka’s kindness even when he is blamed for something he didn’t do, all because another child lost her temper. This story also teaches children that different families celebrate different holidays and have different customs. I was intrigued to find out why Squire MacKenzie hangs his Christmas tree upside-down and to learn that Yule is a separate holiday from Christmas. Joseph Cassis’ Squire With Fire: Yule Be Gone is also an introduction to Norwegian tales of the Nisse. Families that like to explore the traditions of many cultures will appreciate this story. The vibrant illustrations by Wealth Builders Inc. convey the sense of a holiday in a colorful way.