Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Story Time . . . My Father's Dragon

The last two weeks in home school, I've been reading My Father's Dragon to my daughter. This is part of our curriculum, but it was so delightful that I figure I'll talk about it here, just in case anyone wants to take note. ;-)

One of the most interesting features of this book to me as a writer is the fact that the narrator is apparently the child of the main character--who is himself a child in the story. I found this so neat. We know the name of the character--Elmer Elevator--but more often than not the story is told like this: "So my father set sail for the Isle of Tangerina."

Now, there are a few reasons why this book was a hit in my house. First of all, though it's a chapter book, it has fun illustrations throughout the book, which my daughter took especial delight in. Second, it's a story of imagination and even critical thinking. As Elmer Elevator sets off on an adventure to find and rescue a baby dragon who's being abused by the creatures of Wild Island, he has to solve problems every step of the way--and most of those problems are the wild animals on the island who have enslaved the dragon and who are fiercely protective of their island against "the invasion"--namely, Elmer.

Luckily, the old tomcat who told him of the dragon also gave him advice on exactly what to pack in his knapsack. Those items save the day at each step, and it was tons of fun to figure out how he would use things like 17 lollipops, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and chewing gum to get himself out of impending doom.

Fanciful enough to engage the kiddos and clever enough to grab the parents, this is a book I highly recommend for you to get and share with your kids. And if yours are anything like mine, you'll end up with some adorable pictures of this dragon that spring from your little one's imagination throughout the story, before we get to see the illustrator's interpretation at the very end.

A delight for the whole family, it's easy to see why this won the Newbury Honor when it was written!


  1. Oh, it sounds clever! May have to pick it up for mine.

  2. We also recommend this book for young ones because of all the pictures. I don't know if my nearly 5 yo really appreciated the great story, but definitely interested, and it was fun for us as a read aloud. I found this and the third in the series to add to our collection (used). Need the second one...or will borrow from library.

  3. I also homeschool my children and have read this to three of them. My 13 year old daughter read it again to her 6 year old brother last year. It was fun to see her enjoy the book again, only this time reading it to a younger sibling.