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The reluctant dragon, Paperback – January 1, 1938


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Paperback, January 1, 1938
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Holiday House (1938)
  • ASIN: B007T2CG22
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

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Fast, fun, and cute.
WinterWarrior
We listened to this story on a recent trip and the kids wanted to hear it again as soon as we finished.
LJK
I purchased the book for my grandson who loves to read.
Perfectly Blessed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This delightful story tells the tale of a boy who meets a kindly dragon on the edge of town. The boy and the dragon become friends and start spending a lot of time together. Then the people of the town find out about the dragon and send for St. George. The boy meets with St. George and takes him to meet the dragon. All three soon become friends and find themselves in a quandry. George doesn't want to kill the dragon and the dragon has no desire to kill George. A plan is hatched and at the end of the story everyone lives happily.
It's really great reading this to younger children. It's got a great message about not prejudging others. It also shows how people can sometimes get everything they want, without anyone having to get hurt by it. That doesn't happen often, but it's nice to be reminded now and again that it can.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Shanna A. Gonzalez on June 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Reluctant Dragon is a mild-mannered specimen of his breed who, unlike the "active and earnest" fellows who used to charge around battling knights, has survived long enough to develop his passion for poetry. He is befriended by an intelligent young shepherd boy, who is placed in an awkward position when the villagers discover the dragon's presence. Although the dragon has harmed no one, the villagers are so aroused that they call on Saint George to battle this "pestilential scourge." When Saint George arrives the dragon flatly refuses to fight, and the boy is left to find a solution to the impasse.

This is a brilliantly written satirical fantasy, lambasting the traditional knight-and-dragon stories and providing a wonderful protagonist that boys of all ages (and many girls) will want to identify with. The fantastical pleasure of friendship with a dragon is enhanced by encounters with the famous knight, a theatrical battle, and plenty of intelligent wit to amuse both children and adults. The language is advanced, suitable for reading aloud or for confident self-readers. Some of the humor will be above young readers' heads, but there is enough action to make it interesting for younger ages.

The original classic version is charmingly illustrated in pen-and-ink by Ernest Shepard (who also illustrated the Winnie-the-Pooh books), but for younger readers a more colorful version may be more appealing. There is a visually pleasing paraphrase by Inga Moore, which unfortunately preserves almost none of Grahame's marvelous prose. The unabridged edition by Michael Hague has lavish illustrations on almost every page, and it is my favorite version.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is about a boy and a dragon and they are friends. The dragon is not mean instead he is really nice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kittrzeb on September 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We started with Inga Moore's beautifully illustrated version of The Reluctant Dragon, discovered at the library, but it turned out to be abridged (which does have its advantages for younger readers.) This is the real thing, with the full original text. Kenneth Grahame's witty prose is amusingly penetrating. I had to walk my then 5yo son through it the first time, but he has taken it off and read it by himself many times since. Since he read at a 5th grade level at age 5, he was able to manage many of the nuances for himself after reading it with me once, and it will grow with him as he matures and becomes better able to decipher the intent behind Kenneth Grahame's story.

Meanwhile, I love it myself! It is charming and hilarious, with a satisfyingly happy ending for all (even the badger). Michael Hague's idea of the dragon is not what I would have pictured, making me think of Bilbo and Smaug for some reason, but the rich detail--especially in one of the first full-page illustrations where the boy is reading on his bed--is stunningly gorgeous and makes me want to pore over the book again and again. In addition, though a paperback, the pages are glossy and sturdy and are holding up well.

Definitely recommend this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven on May 21, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The Reluctant Dragon (PlainTales Classics)
The Reluctant Dragon is a charming story about friendship and about finding peaceful solutions to our problems. One evening, a shepherd comes home and tells his family that a dragon has taken up residence in a cave near their home. Fortunately, the shepherd's son is a thoughtful boy who likes to read, and the shepherd and his wife decide to let their son investigate and decide what to do. When the boy discovers that the dragon is quite well-mannered and not interested in bothering anyone, the two become friends. All goes well until the nearby villagers decide that a dragon can only mean trouble and call in no less than the famous St. George to deal with him. Now it's up to the boy's to be resourceful and clever enough to work things out without anyone getting killed.

This isn't your ordinary fairy tale, which becomes apparent very early in the story when we learn how the boy's parents, especially his father, are quite willing to let him have interests in books and other academic knowledge rather than forcing him to learn a trade. They consider it a very sensible division of labor, since the boy can handle any affairs requiring such things and they won't have to bother with all that reading and such. This turns out to be a very sensible approach indeed with the arrival of the dragon, and an attitude that more fathers should consider adopting about their "changeling" sons. The boy's relationships with the dragon and with St. George, who are simultaneously his mentors and his pupils, mirror the best relationships that a boy can have with older male relatives in which both parties can learn and grow.
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