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My Father's Dragon Paperback – November 12, 1987

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Frequently Bought Together

My Father's Dragon + Elmer and the Dragon (My Father's Dragon) + The Dragons of Blueland (My Father's Dragon)
Price for all three: $19.74

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: My Father's Dragon (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; English Language edition (November 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394890485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394890487
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

My Father's Dragon--a favorite of young readers since the 1940s and a Newbery honor book--captures the nonsensical logic of childhood in an amusingly deadpan fashion. The story begins when Elmer Elevator (the narrator's father as a boy) runs away with an old alley cat to rescue a flying baby dragon being exploited on a faraway island. With the help of two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, and a fine-toothed comb, Elmer disarms the fiercest of beasts on Wild Island. The quirky, comical adventure ends with a heroic denouement: the freeing of the dragon. Abundant black-and-white lithographs by Ruth Chrisman Gannett (the author's stepmother) add an evocative, lighthearted mood to an already enchanting story. Author Ruth Stiles Gannett 's stand-alone sequel, Elmer and the Dragon, and her third volume, The Dragons of Blueland both received starred reviews in School Library Journal and are as fresh and original as her first. (Ages 4 to 8)

About the Author

RUTH STILES GANNETT wrote My Father's Dragon just a few years after her graduation from Vassar College in 1944. It was an immediate success, becoming a Newbery Honor Book, and was soon followed by two sequels, Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland. All three dragon stories have been continuously in print in the more than 40 years since their publication. The author's other books include Katie and the Sad Noise and The Wonderful House-Boat- Train. She is married to the artist and calligrapher Peter Kahn. They have seven daughters and seven grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

I bought this book to read to my 4 (almost 5) year old.
There are a lot of pictures which young kids still like, short easy to read pages and of course a wonderful engaging story.
I would like to recommend this book to teachers to read aloud this book to their students.
Mohit Kumar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 127 people found the following review helpful By slomamma on July 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was the first chapter book I read to my son, when he was 4, and I couldn't have found a better choice. The story is simple and easy to follow — a nine-year-old boy saves an enslaved baby dragon and then flies home on the dragon's back. The book's language is simple and direct. And there's a black and white drawing on almost every other page, which is perfect, because most young children still need a picture to look at while they're listening.
The best thing about the book for me was that even though there's plenty of action (mostly involving the little boy outsmarting a series of wild animals in order to reach the dragon), there's nothing the least bit scary here. That was very important to me as the mother of a four-year-old. The book was written in the forties, and it has a sweet, gentle, old-fashioned quality that it's hard to find in any form of entertainment for young children today. (Even Disney is too intense for a lot of four-year-olds.) It has the kind of innocence most of us would like our children to be able to hang on to for a few years.
My son loved the book so much we read it over and over again, and went on to read the other two books in the series (Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland) many times as well.
Years later, when he was in third grade, his teacher mentioned to me that she was hunting for a chapter book to read to the class, but wasn't having much luck. Everything she looked at seemed beyond the attention span of many of the kids in her class. I told her about My Father's Dragon, but I also said it probably wasn't exciting enough to hold the attention of third graders. But she tried it anyway, and later told me that kids who had never shown any interest in books were reminding her every day to read another chapter. She, too, went on to read the whole series.
It's a great introduction to chapter books. More important, it's a lovely, gentle book to share with a child.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Bach on October 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've been expecting my seven year old son to become, like the rest of the world, an addict of the Harry Potter books, but no dice.
Instead, he came home from his multi-age class rhapsodizing about a book I had never heard of...My Father's Dragon. And although I haven't read it (yet), I can tell you for sure what happens in the first five chapters, because my son tells us all with such verve and enthusiasim about the adventures that take place there! How the narrator's father gets out of the tigers, and builds a bridge with the crocodiles are two of his favorite parts, and the words "Bome Cack! Bome Cack!! have entered our vocabularies probably forever.
I think the three books in this series will be entering our household at Christmas time, and I can't wait to read them myself!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Library Lady on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Don't let the boring "editorial review" fool you--this book was hilarious when it first came out in the 40's and it still is! As a child I read it over and over, laughing every time at the way the boy hero, named Elmer Elevator (just the name was enough to give me giggles) hides in a sack (his bony elbow making the sailors think he is corn on the cob!), stows away on a ship, and fools the not-to-bright but dangerous animals on Wild Island--using no weapons, just crazy items like chewing gum, lollipops, a toothbrush and yes, hair ribbons! The picture on the front cover says it all! And dragon lovers will cheer for Elmer as he attempts to rescue what has to be the worlds cutest baby dragon. As a children's librarian I recommend this to all parents looking for a great read-aloud as well as for transitional chapter book readers (the print is big, there are lots of great pictures and the book is not so long as to be intimidating--but there are some good vocabulary words!) Everyone keep buying and reading this classic so it will stay in print!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ken Jennings on December 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
This review is only for any non-Random House paperback version of this book on Amazon. Did you know My Father's Dragon is now in the public domain? I didn't. That means anybody who wants to can put out their own crappy-looking print-to-order version. You might save a few bucks (or not, I'm not sure) but you get what you pay for: a thin, ugly volume with all the production values of a college alumni directory or community theater playbill. Weird fonts, washed-out art, some low-resolution scans, etc. Buyer beware--don't click on the wrong version of this like I did!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
MY FATHER'S DRAGON tells the story of Elmer Elevator. When he hears the plight of a baby dragon captured and enslaved by the residents of Wild Island, he leaves home to free the animal. Armed only with gum, lollipops, magnifying glasses, hair ribbons, and other such items, he sets out. But will this be enough to face lions, tigers, gorillas, and crocodiles?
This is a fun early reader chapter book. The chapters are the perfect length to hook the beginning reader. The story is imaginative, delightful, and downright funny in spots while still being simple enough for young kids to follow. I reread it recently for the first time in years and was surprised at how short and simple it really was. When I was a boy, it seemed much longer and more complicated. There are numerous drawings that wonderfully highlight some of the funnier parts of the story. Adults should enjoy it just as much as their kids.
Readers of this book will want to get the other two in the series and read the further adventures of Elmer. This is a series that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
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