Jasper the Dragon is back! We featured the last book Jasper the Firefighting Dragon in April last year. He is back in the latest book of the Jasper series in Jasper the Dragon and the Fiery Sneeze. I knew author Val Blackburn was planning to write another Jasper book so I was very excited when she mentioned that it was to be released this month.

Reading to premature babies has so many benefits which is why I do this book of the month feature. Also I absolutely love to read and I have from a very young age. This is something I hope my son will get from me.

Jasper the Dragon
Jasper the Dragon

So what are the benefits?

It helps the parents to bond with their baby. The daily neonatal visits can take their toll, the environment can be intense with lots of worried parents. Reading to a child is a normal thing to do which is really nice and calming in a not so normal place to be.

Premature babies respond well to being read to. They get to hear the familiar voices of mum and dad which they will have started getting used to in the womb. Studies show that a parent reading to them can also calm them down improving their heart rate and oxygen saturation levels.

Studies also showed that premature babies that had been read to were more advanced with their communication skills when they were older. This is compared to premature babies that were not read to.

With all this evidence and my love of a good book it was easy to decide on a book of the month feature! I love getting to know the authors and their stories as well as the ones they write.

About author Val Blackburn

Val has just welcomed twin girls into the world, Juliet and Freya born at 37 weeks. They are back in their home in Bermondsey where Val lives with her husband and two other daughters. Val grew up in Liskeard, Cornwall. She moved towards London where she became the Director of Brit Movie Tours, a TV and film location tour company.

Juliet and Freya laying either side of Jasper the Dragon and the Fiery Sneeze book
Juliet and Freya laying either side of Jasper the Dragon and the Fiery Sneeze book

Jasper and the Fiery Sneeze is the second book in the series. The first book Jasper the Firefighting Dragon was brought to life and dedicated to Val’s oldest daughter, Elisabeth. Elisabeth asked for her mum to make up her very own bedtime story about a dragon which Val was happy to do!

During Val’s maternity leave with her second daughter, Imogen, she went about finding an illustrator to bring colour and life to the story. The very talented Cornwall based illustrator Sarah-Leigh Wills has beautifully succeeded in doing this. Val then self published the book and promoted it while raising her daughters and working full time.

Jasper the Dragon and the Fiery Sneeze

You will notice the book introduces a new dragon friend, Opal. Jasper is still the lead character as the water breathing dragon of Huffenpuffen Valley. the message of friendship, being kind and that being different is OK is strong in the books. The books are aimed at children 3-7 years old but is enjoyed by a much bigger age range!

Opal the Dragon
Opal the Dragon

Val has read and donated many copies of the book to pre-schools, schools, charities and causes. You can also find copies on Amazon, Waterstones online, Greenwich Market, Bookshop on the Heath and Little Marshans in Waterloo.

Jasper the Dragon recommendations

The children on the show ‘The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds’ recommended Jasper (high praise in deed!). As have Mum bloggers such as Mum of Boys & Mabel and Curious Mummy.

Val is also an Amazon number one bestselling co-author of the book Mumpreneur on Fire. She was one of 20 inspirational women who shared their personal stories for the first in the Mumpreneur on Fire series.

You can buy your copy of Jasper the Dragon and the Fiery sneeze on Amazon.

Jasper and Opal the Dragons
Jasper and Opal the Dragons