Every place we have moved to, we have always been blessed to meet great people and make lifelong friends. In our New York City chapter, we have found wonderful friends in my husband’s classmates and future colleagues who, like him, are students of Columbia University’s Post-Bacc Premed program. They are all on a mission to become great physicians and surgeons. One of those really great friends is a published children’s book author, Jennifer Morillo. Aside from pursuing her degree to become a physician and a published author, she is quite active in participating towards the recovery efforts to help Puerto Rico after the devastating hurricane the country endured. I had the pleasure of reading one of her books and it really captivated my attention.
A Kingdom’s Story is a wonderful book that captured my very heart with a classic tale of good versus evil with a twist on perspective. Growing up, you are taught that whatever is not familiar may pose a threat and blurs your judgment. The story is about a dragon who is held captive due to a kingdom’s prejudice and fear towards that dragon. It depicts the dragon to be the “bad guy” even though the dragon did not have a malicious bone in its body. The book’s website further summarizes that, “the typical hero and villain roles can sometimes be blurred, as the dragon plans her liberation and comes back to restore peace.” (A Kingdom’s Story, 2017)
I asked Jennifer what motivated her to write a children’s book with such an important message behind it. She stated that the motivation behind her book was mostly because of the many racial controversies that surround our beautiful country today, including “the systemic racism that our country was innately built upon.” Just like the dragon in her story, many of our citizens are being systematically oppressed because society has depicted them as the “bad guy” due to certain physical characteristics and attributes they may posses. Furthermore, I asked her why she decided on writing a children’s book. To which she answered, “the best time to learn prejudices is during childhood. No one is born a racist or a bully, we are products of our environment for the most part, and that includes what we read and hear at a young age.” She continues, “plus it provides an avenue for kids to learn about right and wrongs. And that what is ‘normal’ or accepted, like the Dragon being the villain in every fairy tale and every story, isn’t always what is right. Especially if we never know or care to know the dragon’s story.”
Before I asked my children to read this book, I asked them who they always thought was the villain in a fairy tale. Not to my surprise, they both stated that it is always a dragon that is the “bad guy” because the prince always slays the dragon which makes the prince the “good guy”. They continued to read A Kingdom’s Story, and were very surprised to see that not all dragons are “bad guys”. They continued to explain to me that they were sad that the dragon had to endure such prejudice and that it wasn’t fair.
The story is a wonderful way for children to learn that not everything that is presented to them to believe is the truth is always true. Sometimes, we have to question what the right thing is and find out for ourselves by looking into every perspective available.
I have included the link to where you may purchase this book below.