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My Father's Dragon Paperback – January 12, 2014
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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)
From the Inside Flap
When Elmer Elevator hears about the plight of an overworked and underappreciated baby flying dragon, he stows away on a ship and travels to Wild Island to rescue the dragon.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!