I just finished reading a delightful little children's book aloud to our seven-year-old son, and he really thought that it was great. It was written in 1973 when author Peter Ryan Culpepper was 13-years-old. However, it languished for 17 years, until he married Gina and she found it buried in a box. After reading it to their then two-year-old daughter Victoria, Gina encouraged Pete to do something with it. However, he was too busy in the corporate world until Victoria was struck with cancer at age five in 1999. Realizing that time was slipping by too fast, Pete and Gina expanded the story to its current form, and Gina and Victoria, now seven, illustrated it.
When Victoria was ill, the Make-A-Wish Foundation gave her a special wish that made a tremendous difference in her life at that time. The Culpeppers decided to make the story of Brownie available to a larger audience and to give back to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They formed Felix Culpepper International, Inc., P. O. Box 70, Jefferson City, TN 33760-0070 (865-475-4493, phone; 914-470-1091, fax; 203-/536-4842, cell), to publish and market the book, and all profits after the production costs will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The first edition was printed in 2003. They are trying to build a brand that will include other children's books, videos, and plush animals.
The story is set on an unknown island in the Pacific Ocean, on which live a number of animals, including a flying dragon named Brownie who has many different colors and really stands out from all the others. Therefore, while it is children's fiction, for homeschoolers it would make a great beginning point to do a study of the Pacific Ocean and islands in general, as well as a good starter for learning more about the various animals that are mentioned in it and about the history of beliefs about dragons. The basic messages of the book are the importance of friendship, respecting differences in others, and believing in yourself. These lessons are needed for all ages, especially in our world today.
Author Eddie Siebert wrote, "'Brownie the Lonely Dragon' takes readers' imaginations on an entertaining, meaningful journey! I am honored to be associated with the creators of this book; the Culpepper Family. They are a tribute to LIFE, LOVE, COURAGE, and FAITH. Let their enthusiasm be an INSPIRATION to everyone they touch." Over 2,200 children have already appreciated the story and illustrations firsthand. Teachers have submitted the book to be considered for the Volunteer State Award.
If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy or in getting more information about the book, you can contact Felix Culpepper International, Inc. by e-mail at
visit their website at www.bigboxhead.com, where you can buy Brownie the Lonely Dragon from their online store. You can also find out more about it via the Make-A-Wish Foundation website or obtain the book through www.amazon.com by typing in Brownie the Lonely Dragon. The story is very readable and enjoyable; the illustrations are gorgeous. As I am an avid reader of children's books, it is one that I would highly recommend.