Over the years, I have spent delightful hours talking about Dragons, telling Dragon stories. There is no more receptive audience than children. Wide-eyed with wonder, they have an innate understanding that, not only are Dragons real, but that they are all around us, just waiting to be seen. Is it any wonder that there are a slew of marvelous Dragons in the annals of children’s literature? They crop up in Narnia and Middle Earth, in the faerie tales of the world that taught us such important lessons long ago.
And their number keep growing – some good, some bad – an ever present influence during our formative years. Teaching us to be brave and full of wonder, to believe in the seeming impossible and always treasure the rare and unusual.
Today I want to focus on just a few of my favorite Dragon books for kids – and their grown-ups, of course. They have both good stories and also wonderful conversations and pictures, for as Alice said, “What is the use of a book without pictures and conversation?” I hope you’ll share and enjoy.
The Book of Dragons – E. Nesbit
I grew up with this book long ago before Kindle and computers – the free way to get it now. A collection of whimsical tales of Dragons and their people. All very British and rather mild by today’s standards, but worth a look.
Tell Me A Dragon – Jackie Morris
This is a stunning book. Jackie Morris’s inspirational illustrations will lead you to that dragon within, and get kids thinking about telling their very own Dragon.
If you’re only familiar with the film adaptations – which are wonderful – do go back and check out Cressida Cowell’s original work. See where it all started with Hiccup, Toothless and the Dragons of Berk.
Fun tale about little Billy Bixbee who wakes up one day and finds a dragon at the end of his bed. While the little scaly one grows fast and furious, Billy tries in vain to convince his mother there is a Dragon taking over their house. But, as some grown-ups will, she just keeps insisting, “There’s no such thing as a Dragon.”
Ernest Drake and Candlewick Press have developed a wickedly lucrative franchise – including talk of an upcoming film – which does not mean they’re not fun and handsomely put together. The cryptoherpetologist in me has issues with some of Drakes facts, though the story-teller in me is fond of the Pocket Dragon Adventures.
The first of four tales about young George and his Dragon naturally starts out with an egg – a giant golden egg George finds in his mom’s henhouse. When a dragon hatchling emerges, their lessons and adventures begin.
The Great Dragon Rescue
What were your favorite Dragon stories as a kid? Any new ones that strike your fancy, make your heart soar on Dragon wings? Please, tell us your Dragons!
**In the tradition of Month of the Dragon, everyone who leaves a comment here at Dragon’s Nest has their name go into a hat. At the end of the month, a name will be drawn and the winner will receive signed copies of my books, The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook and Dragons for Beginners (both from Llewellyn Worldwide). Hope everyone is feeling lucky!