The Adventures of Birpus and Bulbus

The Sour Milk Dragon

Children - Picture Book
41 Pages
Reviewed on 10/17/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

Written by Wynn Everett-Albanese and Michael Albanese, The Sour Milk Dragon is the first installment in the delightful children's book series The Adventures of Birpus and Bulbus. Running as fast as they can, Birpus and Bulbus are terrified as the Sour Milk Dragon is getting close to catching them this time. Luckily they make it safely home with their Grand-wees, Nester Nook and Granny Cranny. After eating, they gather ingredients for their next meal on the forest floor, but Bulbus' blankie (Mr. Yellow) smells like sour milk to Birpus. Both realize the Sour Milk Dragon has suddenly cornered them, so Birpus and Bulbus hide under Mr. Yellow and close their eyes. When nothing happens, they finally open their eyes to find a smiling dragon, who pokes Bulbus in the belly and yells 'Tag! You're It!' Shocked, Birpus and Bulbus wonder why the dragon had not killed them. The dragon explains he does not eat meat and introduces himself as Duncan. Duncan had always wanted to play with others but everyone ran away when he tried. From then on, Birpus and Bulbus play tag in the woods. Duncan now lives under their home, is regularly fed, and is kept company while sleeping by Mr. Yellow.

Reading The Sour Milk Dragon before bed was the perfect way to end a perfect day. The well-crafted illustrations by Indre Ta are of high quality, giving the story a huge 'smile factor.' The illustrations took me back to the wonderful days of The Gruffalo. There should be more books like this, which clearly tell young readers that you cannot judge somebody or something by the way it looks. Just because you see what you consider a bad thing or a threat could very easily be somebody trying to make friends. Never judge a book by its cover - this is the rule of thumb that I was raised with, and that lesson so young is why I am still smiling at the messages that come across so firmly. Wynn Everett-Albanese and Michael Albanese have such a delightful writing style which keeps the reader engaged right up until the very end. This world needs more happy endings like this and the children of today need to grow up with great stories such as The Sour Milk Dragon to bring about a happy tomorrow. I recommend The Adventures of Birpus and Bulbus be read by children over eight years and i look forward to seeing it stocked in libraries and bookstores worldwide.

Philip Van Heusen

What would you do if a dragon spewing hot, sour milk from his nose came running toward you? You would run, of course. Birpus and Bulbus, two brothers, are being chased by Duncan the Dragon. They escape up a vine ladder to their Grand-Wees’ house in Nobby Lob-lolly. Nobby Lob-lolly is a magical place with Tree Wee homes in the middle of the forest. Those who are different from us often scare us because we don’t take the time to get to know them. When it appears safe to go back to the forest floor, they climb down the ladder, only to run face-to-face into Duncan. Do they survive? Is Duncan really as scary as he seems? Read The Adventures of Birpus and Bulbus: The Sour Milk Dragon by Michael Albanese and Wynn Everett-Albanese and find out what Duncan is after and what happens to Birpus and Bulbus.

The husband-and-wife team of Michael Albanese and Wynn Everett-Albanese have given us a great and exciting children’s picture book in The Sour Milk Dragon. The story will keep children guessing as to what will happen next. This book can help you explain to children that people are not always what they appear to be. It is important, in safe environments, to attempt to understand where the other person is coming from. Sometimes a bully just needs a friend. Indre Ta does a wonderful job with the illustrations. Just because someone is different doesn't mean they are bad or scary. Read this book with your child and discuss how to accept those who are different as friends. The message in this book can also be extended to learning how to accept the differently-abled. I highly recommend this book for all young readers.

Carmen Tenorio

The Adventures of Birpus and Bulbus, Book One: The Sour Milk Dragon by Michael Albanese and Wynn Everett-Albanese is about two young Tree-Wee brothers named Birpus and Bulbus who continuously try to escape the purple-colored dragon who spews sour milk from his nostrils and mouth. However, the brothers found out that the exhausting chase was all about playing a game of tag for Duncan the Sour Milk dragon whose stinky breath made him feel lonely. For the rest of the time after that, the brothers played with Duncan who later became their friend and even flew them around the forest and back home to the magical place of Nobby Lob-lolly where they lived. They also offered Duncan a place to sleep so he'd have a family and wouldn't be alone anymore.

As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. Stereotyping can still be rampant on television and books, and on social media. Books such as The Adventures of Birpus and Bulbus by Michael Albanese and Wynn Everett-Albanese can help counterbalance the negative images that young minds are easily exposed to. The story helps us to see others as they are, telling us not to hesitate to discover the unique positive aspects of others. It does a good job of teaching kids how to overcome their fear of anything that appears different from them. The story shows how one can make friends with those who have interesting diverse appearances and natures. It is a heartwarming tale of friendship, acceptance, and inclusion. This is an excellent way to encourage young readers to think creatively outside the box, which is a crucial ability to have if we are to thrive and enjoy good relationships and achievements in life. The simple language, short sentences, wordplay, and unique characters make this work fun and engaging for young readers. Its colorfully brilliant and crisply done illustrations by Indre Ta are simply delightful and enhance the story and make it captivating. Recommended as a read-along book for emergent readers 5 years and older.

Afifa Raisa

The Adventures of Birpus & Bulbus: The Sour Milk Dragon by Michael Albanese and Wynn Everett-Albanese is the first book of the series that follows the adventures of two Tree Wee brothers. The siblings reside in the magical Forest of Fine Repute with their grandparents. The story begins with Birpus and Bulbus being chased by the intimidating Sour Milk Dragon. They manage to get away the first time, but when they come back down to gather ingredients for their dinner, the dragon manages to corner them. The two brothers feel it is the end of them when something most unexpected happens. Following this experience, Birpus and Bulbus return home having learned a wonderful lesson on friendship and kindness.

The Adventures of Birpus & Bulbus: The Sour Milk Dragon by Michael Albanese and Wynn Everett-Albanese loses no time in getting into action. It begins in the middle of an exciting moment, which grabbed my attention immediately. I loved the vibrant illustrations featuring the fantastic world and the intriguing characters; they are at the heart of the story. I feel that Michael and Wynn have done a smart job in building the characters of the Sour Milk Dragon, Birpus, and Bulbus. Birpus and Bulbus love the company of their grandparents, and this is something that many children can relate to. The Sour Milk Dragon, on the other hand, is portrayed in a way that can elicit sympathy from young readers. The best part of the book is certainly the lesson on kindness and friendship that it imparts; it is easy to grasp and highly relevant to the lives of young children.

Kristine Zimmerman

The Adventures of Birpus and Bulbus, Book One: The Sour Milk Dragon by Wynn Everett-Albanese and Michael Albanese takes place in the Forest of Fine Repute. Brothers Birpus and Bulbus are Tree-Wees who live with their Grand-Wees in a village in the trees. They enjoy exploring the forest and collecting delicious items for dinner; however, the Sour Milk Dragon also lives in their forest. He is always chasing them with stinky sour milk spewing from his nostrils instead of fire. The brothers outrun him and make it back to their Grand-Wees' house for a snack and some stories. They return to the forest floor only to find the dragon hasn't left, and he is ready to continue the chase! Will the dragon catch them this time?

Wynn Everett-Albanese and Michael Albanese have created a fascinating fantasy world in The Adventures of Birpus and Bulbus: The Sour Milk Dragon. Their tale is filled with wonderful wordplay and delightful rhyming. The illustrations by Indre Ta bring the Tree-Wees world to life. There are many fabulous details to pore over, from the moss and vine ladder to the acorn-shaped houses in the Tree-Wees' village. Kids will enjoy saying "Ewww" as the dragon spews his sour milk. They might even say the same thing when they hear what the Tree-Wees enjoy eating! Engaging a child's imagination is valuable, and kids will be immediately pulled into this unique and colorful world. The Sour Milk Dragon is an entertaining start to The Adventures of Birpus and Bulbus series.