BOOK CLUB: The Journey (Big Panda and Tiny Dragon)

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[Total: 4 Average: 4.8]

The Journey Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by British author and illustrator James Norbury is the companion book to Big Panda and Tiny Dragon. Based on companionship, courage, and adventure it is a book for all ages.  

Prior to reading this tale, I purchased Big Panda and Tiny Dragon as I wanted to get to know the characters.  I had no preconceived ideas and I am glad I didn’t as the story and pictures speak for themselves.

After spending a year together through the seasons Big Panda and Tiny Dragons are back in their temple high in the mountains.  Over time Tiny Dragon begins to feel despondent and tells Big Panda his worries. They decide to set off on a journey across the lands and find their new home. 

On their path of discovery, they come across many stumbling blocks and uncertainty.  When they are faced with danger, they rely on their friendship and encourage each other to keep going.  Big Panda and Tiny Dragons remember why they started and realise how far they have come to reach the most beautiful destination.  

I really enjoyed the detail held within the illustrations, the images are so powerful and put the story across perfectly. I love art because of its ability to express emotions, moods, and stories. Expressing the story artistically rather than just words is very creative, it makes the narrative come alive and allows you to see the characters and their life from a different perspective and it makes you feel connected. 

The story is magical, it shows us to have conviction in our abilities and to face challenges knowing that we might fall; to continue onwards alongside our worries, that is bravery, and that is the cornerstone of building resilience and self-belief. 

I feel Norbury has really thought about this story, it will help people of all ages to open their imagination to the unknown and think of adventures they could go on, whilst you may encounter all sorts of obstacles in life, feel tired, wary, and want to quit, you must take a leap of faith and trust in your ability to survive it.

I highly recommend this inspiring and motivational novel.

Thank you, Beauty & Lace, and Penguin Books Australia for the opportunity to read and review. 

FOOTNOTE: James Norbury began illustrating the adventures of Big Panda and Tiny Dragon, inspired by Buddhist philosophy, to share the ideas that helped him through difficult times, in the hope they could help others too.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Journey by James Norbury. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Journey (Big Panda and Tiny Dragon)

  1. Wow such a beautiful hardcover book that has a ribbon to use as a bookmark whilst reading. The cover is just as gorgeous with a teal background showing a picture of a Big Panda & Tiny Dragon.

    My first thoughts was this was a children’s book but once I started reading this book, I would say it is more for age 11 to any age. Yes even us matured people will love the meanings behind this story.

    The characters are just so gorgeous, knowledgeable Big Panda and a Tiny Dragon. The story is about their journey.

    The drawings in the book are beautiful and memorable and explain the sites depicted in the story so well.

    They are both happy where they live but something was missing in Tiny Dragons life and he had no idea what it was so they both decide to go on a journey as they were great friends. It meant leaving their homes and friends though.

    Their adventures of the unknown and the many obstacles that will await them are interesting to read. Whilst reading some of their dangerous episodes I was feeling their terror.

    The story shows that even people can go through difficult times in their lives but there is always hope at the end.

    I myself have been on their journey and really loved reading this book.

    It is a book that I will treasure for life and once my grandchildren are a bit older, will read it to them. It’s one of those books that everyone should read especially from at least age 11 and onwards in my opinion.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random House and to the author James Norbury congratulations on such a well written book that has meanings written in such a way that you enjoy the storyline.

  2. It was an absolute pleasure to read The Journey Big Panda and Tiny Dragon. Their journey together after realising something was missing, particularly for Tiny Dragon.
    The story is so well written that you feel a big part of it through the good and bad challenges. The illustrations are wonderful creating the picture side of each page. I found it an inspiring and at times wanting to help them.
    A lovely story to be read by any age.
    It’s a keeper too!

  3. First of all, this is a beautiful book, a lovely hardback with the title and other details in gold on the cover, and a ribbon bookmark the same colour as the cover. Just holding it in your hands is special.

    Big Panda and Tiny Dragon go on a ‘journey’ because Tiny Dragon feel incomplete, even living as they are, happily and in an incredible place. The similarity to people feeling the lack of spiritual fulfilment is quite clear here, even given the comfort and beauty they have in their lives. So off they go to explore a ‘different path’, together.

    And so they do, through discomfort and dangers and personal peril from the elements. After all, ‘great change requires great effort’.

    *Slight spoiler*

    Along the way Tiny Dragon loses his tea-set, the only precious thing he has taken from their home. But…even the most difficult things can be overcome in their journey together.

    The allegory of moving through life with all its triumphs, failures and experiences, to push through struggles to find better things, is gently portrayed through the two friends. Big Panda is mostly the calm one, patient, encouraging and supportive, whereas Tiny Dragon voices the fears and dismays common to all of us.

    I absolutely loved the illustrations – they made a gorgeous tale even more gorgeous. A very sweet read.

    Thanks so much to Beauty & Lace and Penguin Random House Australia for the review copy.

  4. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review The Journey Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury.

    From first glance I loved this book, with it’s eye catching cover to the illustrations. It is a book I will keep on my bookshelf and read every now and again. Big Panda and Tiny Dragon leave their home and Tiny Dragon has some angst about leaving things that are comfortable. Big Panda helps out by being the voice of reason and letting them see there are more positives than negatives. There is a message in the book about positivity and I enjoyed it so much.

    I think it would make a great book as a gift for anyone wanting a bit of positivity in their life. I recommend this book to everyone.

  5. This is one of those books that you keep, and every now and then, pick up and read again, even just a small section.
    Superbly presented, and the illustrations are wonderful.Being a hard cover, it reminded me of how books used to be made, and would adorn a bookshelf for many years.
    The story isn’t aimed at any specific age, in fact I loved it, but would also simplify the reading of it to my young grandkids.
    Big Panda & Tiny Dragon seem like an unlikely pairing, but they travel through life together, each seeking fullfillment, but encounter many challenges along the way. It’s about wanting to give in and give up, but finding strength and courage in each ned day, to continue forward on this path called life.
    This really is one of the most touching books I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time, and will enjoy everymoment of sharing it with my grandkids, and new great granddaughter,
    Thank you so much for the opportunity Beauty & Lace.

  6. What a beautiful book, the gold detail on the hard cover stands out on a gorgeous teal background. My first thought was this was a children’s book. While reading it, my thoughts changed to maybe an older child or early teens book but know adults will also enjoy it. I know I did.
    The story of Big Panda and Little Dragon is easy to read with lovely simple illustrations. You will find yourself being drawn into the characters journey and you may compare your journey through life.
    This book will be treasured and I will share it with my Grandchildren who I know will also adore it.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace, Penguin Random House Australia and James Norbury for the opportunity to read and review this beautiful book.

  7. My granddaughter grabbed this book and read it as soon as it arrived. She loved the enchanting story about Panda and his best friend Dragon.
    The Journey is not aimed at one particular age group, its appeal is all-inclusive.
    For children it’s an exciting adventure story. For adults it is a story of friendship, overcoming adversity, being in the moment, acceptance, gratitude and weathering life’s storms.
    The Journey is a beautiful book that would make a precious gift for both child and adult.

  8. The sweet design and amazing animations are only improved by the touching tale and the story within.
    Join the giant panda and his tiny dragon friend, one wise and full of knowledge and experience, the other plagued by the unknown and the uncertainty, holding on tight to the now. It is a story of progression, dealing with adversity and a tale of hope.
    I got a warm fuzzy feeling from the book and plan to read it over and over when feeling nerves creep up.
    Thanks Beauty & Lace for the chance and James Norbury for such an inspiration.

  9. A pleasurable read for what I’m sure will be the first time of many. The story is beautiful but the illustrations are just stunning, I’m lost for words. They manage to uncover so much emotion.
    Going through a tough time myself of late reading this story and absorbing not only the beauty of the illustration but the power of the words reminding me of the simple foundations to happiness rather than letting something hold you back was really powerful and for this I am so thankful.

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