It is truly humbling to see such positive and insightful reviews coming out for Ling Li’s Lantern, written by Steve Heron and illustrated by me. I have collected below some extracts from the ones I have managed to find. Thank you all – one and all – for such wonderful support of this book:

This is a beautifully presented book….a Chinese tale with a kind of timeless feel.  This is a beautiful story about compassion and kindness and I absolutely love the illustrations by Benjamin Johnston, who also happens to be an architect, which no doubt assisted in bringing the intricate pagodas in the book to life.  

Liz Ledden, One More Page Ep.51 Podcast

I really enjoyed Ling Li’s Lantern with exquisite illustrations full of movement and emotion…. Kindness is surely an antidote to the world of uncertainty we are currently faced with. Ling Li’s Lantern is a story of light overcoming darkness – a wonderful book for our times. Highly recommended.

Nadia L. King

Now when I first read this I thought it was a gorgeous Chinese fable that’s been retold, but in fact it is not…the author has come up with this really beautiful tale of wisdom and compassion and kindness and it is all of his very own making.  It starts with “Wisdom without compassion is like a lantern without a flame.”’

Illustrated by Benjamin Johnston, he has taken great care to make these illustrations authentic. Light is a pervading kind of feeling throughout this book, there’s a real lightness to these illustrations.  Really recommend this book.

Megan Daley, Children’s Book Daily

‘Ling Li’s Lantern’ is a touching and uplifting parable about kindness, compassion and true wisdom. This tale pulled at our heartstrings and inspired lively discussions about what it means to be wise as well as how to demonstrate wisdom.

The detailed illustrations are mesmerising as they perfectly capture Chinese culture, architecture and landscapes. Benjamin’s Johnston’s background in architecture results in such authentic scenes featuring pagodas, bridges and a village that have an outstanding sense of scale and realism. Light is central to this story and the illustrations capture this perfectly as the source of light on the pages commands your attention.

Reading Opens Doors website

Ling Li’s Lantern is Steve’s first stand- alone picture book and a superb story of compassion, kindness, and the true nature of wisdom. Heron’s insightful storytelling and Benjamin Johnston’s fastidiously composed illustrations draw young readers back in time to enjoy a delightful fable unfolding against the lush, green hills and terraced rice paddies of an unmistakably Chinese village.  Unlike so many other examples of sibling folklore around the world, Ling Li’s Lantern does not focus on rivalry, power, or the usual outsmarting tactics. Rather it is a tale of surprising kindness and hope.  

A truly heart-warming story told with the utmost cultural sensitivity in a traditionally reserved style, Ling Li’s Lantern is a gloriously rich and inspirational picture book to share at home

Reviewed by Lisa Hoad   Reading Time – CBCA website 

Ling Li’s Lantern is a heart-warming story that shows the reader that a kind and compassionate heart is more valuable than money or winning a challenge. Steve Heron’s story is wonderfully imagined and enhanced through the delightful illustrations of Benjamin Johnston. He has captured the cultural feel of the story perfectly. His generally muted colour palette makes Ling Li’s yellow outfit shine, like the bright lantern she returns home with.

This is a lovely and quiet picture book with a great message. It would make an excellent addition to any child’s library. Definitely recommended.

Reviewed by Jeffery E Doherty Buzz words books

This is an exquisite book on every level. This is a book to treasure and share across the generations for the gentle wisdom it imparts and the tactile pleasure it offers to the reader. In an age where compassion and kindness are sorely needed, this book is perfectly timed and its simple message inspired by the Dr Martin Luther King quote “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that” will resonate with young and old alike.

Writing WA

Wisdom without compassion is like a lantern without a flame says the inscription for this unique parable from an accomplished author-illustrator pairing.  It is quite unusual to come across traditional moral storytelling in these times of postmodern picture books, but championing compassion clearly never goes out of style. The delicate illustration style here balances a spare examination of Chinese landscapes with evocative use of light and shadow. Like many of the best picture books, this is a deceptively simple tale, with a timely message of kindness.

Charming language Website