A Komodo Dragon’s Tale

Introducing Dark Shade, Komodo Dragon

Dark Shade, a young Komodo Dragon, growing up in the beautiful Indonesian Archipelago, wants to be a real dragon. He learned about dragons, and he compares his features to theirs: he has armored skin, a long whip tail, venom glands, sharp teeth and many other ‘real dragon’ features.

Dragons can fly, so he knows that he can fly too!
Dark Shade may be young, but he is determined to meet his full dragon potential!

Dark Shade the Determined Dragon, Book 1 Simonne-Anais Clark, artist 2023
All Rights Reserved.

This is a Cross-family Passion Project!

“Can we help them?” The children posed this question at the beginning of social isolation in 2020, frantic when they found that the Komodo Dragon, a beloved animal, is endangered.

The Project begins and Dark Shade makes his first set of wings:
The Cross children decided to write a book. Dark Shade, Anderson’s well loved stuffed Komodo Dragon already lives a full and rich storied life in play. One of those stories could help other children love this animal too.

Storyboards and Songs:
Dark Shade is written in a song-like rhyme. Favorite books written by Karma Wilson (Hogwash!), Dr. Seuss (Fox in Socks) and Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit) all contributed to the look and feel of this book. The children would love to a video of the rapper Snoop Dogg reading this book.

Original Dark Shade Dragon Artwork/Storyboard created by Anderson and Emmalee Cross in 2020. All Rights Reserved

What do we hope to achieve?

Dark Shade the Determined Dragon is the first in a series of books featuring a favorite stuffed animal of a young boy and his family who want to save the Komodo Dragon and other Endangered Species.

The family is committed to leveraging revenue from the sale of this book to directly support the conservation of endangered flora and fauna.

In year one we hope to symbolically adopt 5000 animals. As the series grows and books sell, our goal is to symbolically adopt 50,000 animals by the end of the third year.

Dark Shade Dragon Logo

Book Reviews

  • How Teddy Roosevelt figures into this:

    In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt was depicted in an editorial cartoon, rather satirically, demonstrating mercy to a frail and ailing bear while on a hunt. He refused to shoot the bear which was emaciated and ill. This small gesture and the resulting media translated into Teddy Bears. Books containing anthropomorphized animal characters were soon published and […]

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  • Help Us Help Them

    OUR GOAL: Adopt 5,000 Endangered Species Animals by May 2024. Adopt 50,000 Endangered Species Animals by May 2028. Let’s not miss them, Let’s save them! DarkShadeDragon.com – books sold for $21.99 – we will use $2.19 to adopt animals. Books sold for $14.99 – $1.49 per book. A book written by children, for children.

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  • Successful Launch! Komodo Dragons Fly!

    Dark Shade, the young Komodo Dragon who wants to fly – he wants his book to help save others like himself – endangered species. Dark Shade the Determined Dragon, on sale now!

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As a grandfather of 3 boys (aged 6, 4, and 2), the book is charming. As a biologist, the Q & A provides some simple information for children and adults. Monitor lizards, in general, are known as the athletes of the lizard world. Relative to other lizards, they are very aerobic engaging in locomotion or activity. The fact that the Komodo is producing warm gas is funny! –
James W. Hicks, Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the University of California Irvine

This delightful book for kids (or kids at heart) brings the life of an endangered species into the heart and minds of all ages. It includes lots of real science-based details hidden in a charming lyrical narrative story that inspires the spirit. As a mum who is also a former college professor, lawyer, and accreditation evaluator, I love books that engage kids and help them identify with endangered species in a way that is fun and entertaining. This charming book helps us see goal setting and perseverance in action through the eyes of a Komodo dragon, an animal that perhaps doesn’t invoke cute fuzzy vibes when we see them hunting on National Geographic, but through this book, we get to imagine that this cute little guy, with his fangs and venom, really does dream of flying.… The kids (and this reader!) stayed engaged from start to finish, and once we were done reading through the story and the questions and answers, they wanted to watch videos on Komodo dragons in the wild! If that isn’t a roaring success for a kids’ book, I don’t know what is! I really enjoyed reading the story aloud as the writing style really comes alive when spoken and the loose rhyming makes it easy to read without being formulaic. And, I get a secret thrill reading books to my kids that teach them without them even realizing it! #momgoals …We can’t wait for the next book in the series!
Erika Yigzaw, M.Ed., LL.B.

Dark Shade, a green Komodo dragon living in the Indonesian archipelago, wants to fly. The other dragons laugh at him, but he pays them no mind. Clarke’s full-color cartoon art uses mainly soft greens and browns…but it’s still sweet… Dark Shade’s insistence that he’s a real dragon and not just a Komodo dragon…the book also includes information about Komodo dragons to help make the distinction clearer…The fact that the main character feels a little sad after achieving a goal is also a realistic detail. A pleasantly illustrated…introduction to Komodo dragons.
Kirkus Reviews

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