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The Tale of Custard the Dragon Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316590312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316590310
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.1 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Do you remember brave Belinda and her "realio, trulio, little pet dragon"? This Ogden Nash classic has been a favorite of children for more than 60 years and until recently was unavailable in a picture-book version. Artist Lynn Munsinger has rejuvenated the poem with her chuckle-inducing illustrations of no-nonsense Belinda and the cowardly green and purple dragon Custard. Belinda was a brave role model for young girls back when females weren't encouraged to stand up for themselves, and Custard's hidden reserve of strength has no doubt inspired children for several generations. Hooked on Custard? The next adventure unfolds in Custard the Dragon and the Wicked Knight, which followed this popular picture book. (Ages 3 to 8) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Custard cowers in fearAuntil a nasty pirate shows up and inspires his dragonly instincts. In PW's words, famed Nash's "wordplayful 1936 rhyme gets a fresh start with timeless illustrations by Munsinger." Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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See all 42 customer reviews
I purchased this book as a holiday gift for "tween" members of the family.
John Batch
I'd recommend it highly for children whose families love to read---and pass on the fun of reading to their children.
DutchDivaMom
I realio, trulio love Ogden Nash and I realio, trulio love Custard the Dragon.
L. Phillips

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is absolutely one of the best books out there! I am a teacher and I enjoy reading this book immensely. The story is fun and whimsical to read. While one reviewer was "upset" by how the other characters were not very empathetic to Custard's fears and even teased him, I look at this aspect of the book as an opportunity to discuss it with my students and my 3 children. It's a great springboard into a discussion on kindness and perspective. Whatever you do, don't pass this one up because of that review. I was amazed this book had less than 5 stars. Parents will love reading this to their children. Also, a great discussion on the true meaning of bravery can ensue as a result of this book.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By amazon3131 on October 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spoiler alert: So many apparently gullible readers have reviewed this poem, that I'm going to tell you the entire plot. If you want to be surprised, then just move on to the next review.

(1) Belinda and three other pets *say* that they're very brave. Custard the Dragon *says* that he'd rather live some place safe. Based on what they *say* about themselves, the four "brave" characters tease the one "cowardly" character.

(2) When a pirate breaks into the house, the four "brave" characters instantly turn tail and run away. Cowardly Custard, however, stands his ground during the attack and ends up eating the pirate.

(3) Once the danger is past, all the so-called brave characters come back and thank Custard.

(4) Ultimately, however -- and this is more like the real world than a fairy tale -- Belinda and the "brave" pets go back to their habit of saying that they're really brave, and Custard goes back to saying that he'd really rather live in a nice safe place.

This poem is an interesting bit of commentary on our own willful blindness to our faults, our narcissistic dependence on erroneous self-talk, and one of our stupider working definitions of bravery.

This book is an excellent opportunity for you to talk to your kids about the difference between what people *say* and how they behave. Who's really the brave character after all? Is it always safe to trust a person's self-description? Is there anything wrong with Custard preferring security to danger? If you were there, would you want to tease Custard, or to tell that self-deceived Belinda to put a sock in it?
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joan C. Frank on June 6, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always loved Ogden Nash's writing. The words that he chooses paint wonderful images. The sounds are melodic and provide kids with an opportunity to develop an ear for language. I want more of Nash's writing to come back into print. His writing is truly sumptuous.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful, wonderful book. The story is great for kids to adults, I bought for my grandkids and myself. The illustrations are fabulous. The language is smart, smart, smart.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
We first were introduced to this book at the public library. My child just loved the book! My husband and I loved the book so much that we decided that this book would make a great addition to our library, so, we bought it. Now we have found the sequel and it's just as delightful as the first. YOU WONT GO WRONG BUYING THIS BOOK! It's a joy to read everytime! Not only for kids, but adults can enjoy also!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Hall on December 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Guess what happened in the little white house/ Where Belinda lived with a little gray mouse,/ And a kitten, and a puppy, and a little red wagon,/ and a realio, trulio, little pet dragon." I personally feel that lyrical poetry is a great tool to help children learn to read. It helps them to feel the rhythms of the English language, they can anticipate what will come next, and then they can memorize passages - it's just a wonderful thing.
So many kids have loved this book - I read a review about some of the characters being "mean" to Custard... I can see what the reviewer meant, but I don't agree - the characters are all sort of larger than life and absurd in their own way. I don't think that they come off as mean - but that's just my opinion...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Benson on August 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I loved this story as a child and my 2 year old loves it too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By carrie on June 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
LOVE this book. Great rhymes, funny, and a cute story to boot. We often tend to go for early editions of kid's books but Lynn Munsinger's illustrations do the text justice.
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