Tiny Barbarian

by Ame Dyckman (Author) Ashley Spires (Illustrator)

Tiny Barbarian
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Meet Tiny Barbarian! Tiny may be tiny, but he's MIGHTY! (His imagination is, too!)

When Tiny and his family walk by a retro movie theater poster, Tiny realizes he wants to be: "A BARBARIAN!" Just like '80s fantasy movie character BOB THE BARBARIAN! Tiny doesn't have Bob's shining helmet, sturdy club, fuzzy cape, etc. But Tiny does have: A colander. A paper towel tube. That little rug that goes around the toilet. And a MIGHTY imagination!

Tiny puts them all together, looks in the mirror, and... He is TINY BARBARIAN! With his Battle Kitty by his side, Tiny Barbarian defends his realm, protects his family, and defeats "A DRAGON!" "A TROLL!" And even, "GIANT BROCCOLI!" But at bedtime, our brave Tiny Barbarian meets his most challenging foe of all: "THE DARK!"Can Tiny conquer THIS?!

Ame Dyckman (You Don't Want A Unicorn!, etc.) and Ashley Spires (The Most Magnificent Thing, etc.) share the hilarious origin story of a relatable little hero and the importance of embracing imagination, facing fears, and discovering one's own inner conqueror.

Publishers Weekly

Growing up presents a number of challenges waiting to be "conquered," from first steps to toilet training, so a boy named Tiny has no trouble imagining that he's a Viking-esque hero like the one on a nearby marquis. "He saw himself defending his realm," writes Dyckman (That's Life!); "He saw himself protecting his family." Plus, there's "all that stuff"--the barbarian outfit, which light brown-skinned Tiny approximates with a colander for a helmet, a bathroom rug for a cape, and a cardboard tube as a club. With his trusty kitty beside him, he's ready to bop anything lurking in the backyard, including a dragon (the hose) and a giant broccoli (a shrubbery). But with the arrival of bedtime, Tiny must conquer the "most challenging foe of all: THE DARK!" It's a familiar story line and resolution, but readers should find themselves carried along by lively digital art and comic rhythms from Spires (Turtle and Tortoise Are Not Friends) that are reminiscent of a satisfying cartoon episode. Tiny, an indomitable, highly expressive protagonist, carries the tale, and his all-caps cry of "CONQUER EVERYTHING!"--set in ornate type--may very well start resounding through readers' own pretend play. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Scott Treimel, Scott Treimel NY. Illustrator's agent: Claire Easton, Painted Words. (July)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Ame Dyckman
AME DYCKMAN lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter. This is her first book.

DAN YACCARINO is an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator with more than 30 books to his credit. Dan is also the creator of the animated TV series Oswald. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
July 20, 2021
Age Range
4 - 8 years
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 06/01/21
None None

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!