Books at Bedtime: Dragons' roars… or not!

For the last three years, our six-year-old has regaled us with stories about his Dragon House, a mythical universe where anything and everything does happen. The only consistent factor has been that it is only inhabited by dragons and him. monkeywaterdragon.jpgTherefore, as you can imagine, dragons figure large in our reading and it is a great theme for discovering stories from far away. This week we’ve pulled out Monkey and the Water Dragon, as Son Number One’s school topic at the moment is water… This retelling of an excerpt from the epic journey of Monkey, Pigsy and Tripitaka is written and illustrated by Joanna Troughton, and is one of Puffin’s “Folk Tales of the World” series (I think it’s time these were all pulled together and reprinted as an anthology – hint, hint!). The dragon is actually a baddy who turns out to be a “golden fish” with delusions of grandeur – but that doesn’t seem to bother my two. The dragon roars and the pictures leap from the page. That’s what matters!

Then there are stories like The Day the Dragon Danced by Kay Haugaard and illustrated by Carolyn Reed Barritt (Shen’s Books, 2006) which make my children long to join in a Chinese New Year procession; but we still haven’t read Mei Ming and the Dragon’s Daughter or The Dragon’s Pearl, which are both recommended by Andrea Ross in her Personal View for PaperTigers…

reluctantdragon.jpgOf course there are also dragons of yore closer to home and we love the edition of Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon illustrated by Inga Moore. Then, hopping over the Atlantic, there’s The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash, which is so catchy, I find myself repeating snippets for several days after we’ve read it (we like Lynn Munsinger‘s comical illustrations here). Both these tales offer plenty of food for thought about our perception and acceptance of those around us and make us “realio, trulio” laugh at the same time.

Houston Public Library and TheBookDragon both have lists of dragon books – plenty there to keep us going, I think! How about you? Which dragon books do your children enjoy?

3 Responses to “Books at Bedtime: Dragons' roars… or not!”

  1. Corinne Says:

    The Tale of Custard the Dragon is a classic in our household. I remember my dad reciting it to my brother and me when we were young. For my son’s first birthday my Aunt gave him a copy of the book and told us to keep the tradition alive. My son is now 10 and claims that is one of his favorite “kids” books. When he saw this post he immediately started reciting it!

    What a lovely family tradition to have and such a great poem to base it upon! I think Ogden Nash’s rhythms and tongue-in-cheek rhymes mean that you just never tire of hearing/ reciting his poetry!


  2. Aline Says:

    Barefoot Books’ “Herb The Vegetarian Dragon,” written by Jules Bass and illus. by Debbie Harter is a very fun and endearing story. We just bought a copy of it to help our daughter understand what it means to be a “vegetarian” – or, as she calls them, “vegetarinarian.” I guess she has a point, there… vegetarians, like vets, take care of animals, too, in their own way : )

    That’s one I don’t know – but just the notion of a vegetarian dragon sounds like a good start! Take a look at this Books at Bedtime post for some other great reads from Barefoot Books…