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Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons (Ologies) Hardcover – October 13, 2003

394 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-7-This faux nonfiction title carries echoes of James Gurney's Dinotopia (Turner, 1992; o.p.) in that it purports to be the actual writings of English dragonologist Ernest Drake. Unlike Dinotopia, however, this book is not a narrative, but rather an almost encyclopedic treatment of the subject. It delivers on its subtitle and covers every aspect of the study of dragons, treating the magical creatures as if they were real objects of scientific study. The discussion of the different species includes all types of dragons with which children might be familiar, from Chinese dragons to the European ones of the Grimm fairy tales. One particularly fun bit is the dragon alphabet, combined with some ancient runes written in dragon that can be translated. An aspect of the book that will be totally fascinating to children is the natural history of this creature, including diagrams of its skeletal and muscular structures, and even the development of a dragon embryo in the egg. The illustrations, mainly in color, and overall design of the book are appealing, from a foldout map of "Dragons of the World" to the flaps and cutouts throughout. This book will be hugely attractive to children, especially the "Harry Potter" crowd, but it is fragile.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Purportedly a facsimile of an original book published in 1896, this is a handsome, dryly tongue-in-cheek volume about "the proper study of the dragonologist or student of dragon lore." Replete with large foldout pages, small inset foldouts, and maps showing dragons as indigenous to most parts of the world, the book covers everything from dragon habitats, physiology, and behavior to finding, tracking, taming, and flying them. The pages are sturdy and have an antique look about them, as do the plentiful, mostly full-color illustrations, some of which were contributed by Helen Ward. Appendixes provide advice on setting up a dragonology lab, useful spells and charms, and a history of dragonologists and dragon slayers. There are also ads for equipment, such as the "famous" Draco dragon-whistle, and some practical advice: to wit, wearing special, heat-protective clothing when approaching dragons. All in all, a delightful treatment for readers fascinated by dragons. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1220L (What's this?)
  • Series: Ologies
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (October 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763623296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763623296
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.9 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (394 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

167 of 172 people found the following review helpful By Greg Hills on March 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is something special, and will be loved by anyone who is drawn to the magical, the mythical, the wonderful.
As well as anything and everything you'd ever want to know about dragons and things dragonish and dragonly, you will be entertained along the way with what amounts to a quite spry sense of humor, and that when least expected. For example, dragons love lettuce (we all knew that, right?), so it would be well advised to tote a head of it along (iceberg will do) at all times, advance preparation being half the battle.
This book is presented in the spirit of Gnomes (Poortlvliet), Faeries (Froud), Giants (Larkin), Unicorns (Hathaway), Witches (Jong) entire library of books in which it is a given the creature is real and not mere fantasy. This makes for great fun, no matter the age; just be a child at heart.
Of exciting note: The original of this book having been written, purportedly, in the beginning of the 20th century, the language is delightfully archaic and (by today's standards) full of whimsy. We are placed in another mindset and into an earlier time, when perhaps it would not be so radical to believe such beasties could exist, indeed, while munching on lettuce.
The art is top notch, the book full of delights and cozy places to explore. For those of us who have no trouble at all believing that dragons are alive still (and very well, thank you) a keener book could not be found.
I'd give it 10 stars, sigh, if only I could. Now, 'tis time to find myself a dragon, or perchance to let it find me...
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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Cameron Dube on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am only seven, and this book was the best book I have ever read--and believe me, I've read a lot! My favorite dragon in this book was the Frost Dragon; I also liked the Marsupial Dragon. I like the spells because they were awesome, and they taught me how to seize dragons. One spell was you put dragon dust on a mirror and point it directly into his eyes, and then you could steal the gold! I also like the back page where the dragon has a mirror for an eye. In one of the secret envelopes I read "Beware: this spell will turn the dragon against you." The letters were camoflaged and kind of squished together, but my second cousin and I figured it out!
Do you know why the author mentioned a duck-billed platypus in a dragon book? I'll tell you...because it once wasn't believed that the duck-billed platypus existed, so why shouldn't you believe in dragons?
This book made me fascinated with dragons, and now I would like to become a dragonologist. Please read this interesting book if you love dragons, too.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Ever wonder why Smaug hoarded all that treasure? Apparently it was just to impress the lady dragons. That's only one detail of "Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons," a faux-scholarly book that gives intricate details to the legendary beasts. (The actual author is Dugald A. Steer).

Without robbing dragons of their mystique, we get an overview of them: there are intricate studies of the different kinds of dragons, from the Eastern lung to the Australian marsupial (which is a bit too silly for the tongue-in-cheek tone of the book). "Dr. Drake" also examines their habits, such as courtship rituals and parenting, as well as the the biological means by which they spew flames, and the reason why they hoard gems.

He also gives quite a bit of advice for the budding dragonolist, ranging from the obscure (hide shiny objects from baby dragons) to the ordinary (wear fireproof clothing). Finally, there is a historical overview of famous dragonologists from around the world, and spells that assist them.

Dragons are a staple of legend and literature, although a neglected one. Though "Dragonology" is presented as a serious work, Steer never forgets to keep his tongue in cheek. It's a fun read, with lots of detail and thought -- after all, it can't be easy to document the physiology of a beast that doesn't, technically, exist.

Taken on its own, the book might merely be cute. But Steer also includes little details like a faux library card belonging to Ernest Drake, a little letter enclosed in a special envelope, and an inscription on the inner front cover: "To Friendly Dragons" followed by a bunch of Tolkienesque runes.

And the illustrations are as much a part as the faux-scholarly text.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By dances_with_dragonflies on December 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a friend's daughter for Christmas, and I hate to part with it! It is magical, gorgeous and stunning, from its rich, bejeweled cover to its many treasures within: beautiful illustrations, witty text, fun pull-outs, even samples of shed dragon skin, wing membranes and dragon dust (all lovely!) We learn much about dragons, from their life cycles and behaviors to their flying techniques ("A happy dragon is a dragon that loops") and how they're REALLY able to breathe fire (Ah, I'd always wondered....) And at the end, a wise message about caring for the world and its creatures lest they vanish....and another charming surprise that I won't give away. No serious dragonologist should be without this enchanting book! :-)
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I FULLY recommend this book. Anyone, even the non-beleaver, would fall in love with this book.

My mom bought me this book at the local bookstore. They had only receved 2 in and this was the last one. Right when she gave it to me I sat down where I was, enchanted by the red jewled cover, and read it through twice. Seince then, I have read it at least 8 more times, memorized the riddles and language, and shown it to all to my friends.

"Earnest Drake" had supposedly written it in the late 1800s when dragons exsisted, even if scarce.

This book has wonderful pictures of Eastern and Western Dragons, their different eggs, and a map of where to find them. It also gives scientific resons why dragons can breath fire and fly. Also includes a few advertisments for products such as Dr. Drake's FLAMEAWAY hat, and the famous "Draco Dragon Whistle". There is much more, but I don't want to give away all of the knowlage of this magnificent book. It can make anyone beleve.

I am 11 years old and I have always beleaved that dragons exsited. But at the bottom of every belef, there is doubt. This book filled the void. Now I know. Someone else once knew too.
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