[My Father’s Dragon & Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon]: A Review

Hi y’all!

Does it feel like winter where you live? It’s been deceptively warm the last few days. And then we had some cold snow flurries come in last night. Winter is back. Now we are just hoping for another good snowfall or two. My kids love playing outside in the snow!

Today I am sharing a review of the My Father’s Dragon stories by Ruth Stiles Gannett. These books are simply adorable! I have heard a lot about these stories around the book blogging world and on read aloud podcasts & books. They are darling, clever little stories that I can’t wait to read to my kids. I think they are the perfect ages for these.

Initial Thoughts:

  • These books were made to be read aloud. They are quick stories with lots of cute pictures and perfect for little readers to experience.
  • I read these on my Libby app while nursing. I started with My Father’s Dragon not knowing there were more stories about Elmer. In my opinion, My Father’s Dragon should have won the Newbery Medal in 1949. Although I have to admit I haven’t yet read the winner. I suppose I should hold judgment until then. In total, there are three stories about Elmer and the dragon. I enjoyed all of their adventures.

According to Goodreads, “Elmer Elevator (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 classic fantasy trilogy of Elmer Elevator and the flying baby dragon has delighted children and their parents for generations. Now, on the occasion of their fiftieth anniversary, Random House is proud to bring the three timeless tales together in one beautiful commemorative edition, complete with the original delightful illustrations.  A Newbery Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book, My Father’s Dragon is followed by Elmer and the Dragon (“rich, humorous, and thoroughly satisfying”) and The Dragons of Blueland (“ingenious and plausible, the fantasy well-sustained”).  Each story stands alone, but read in succession, they are an unforgettable experience.

These simple, clever stories about a boy rescuing a baby dragon are delightful and fun. I love how simple the story is. Elmer Elevator (can we just say how fantastic that name is?!) hears about a baby dragon being forced to work for the animals on a faraway island. So he packs a bag of goodies and off he goes to save him! Elmer is a fun character and I love how simple he works. He just leaves home to rescue the dragon and then comes home when he finishes. It’s so classic! The clever ways Elmer outwits the animals on the island are so fun to read. I love the pictures showing us how he does it as well! The cleverness of Elmer’s adventures continue in the other stories. He digs up treasure to cure a colony of canaries from the disease of curiosity. And he ultimately helps Boris’ family escape a cave in clever ways too. These stories are simple but also so fun and engaging. Truly perfect stories to read aloud!

I loved how Elmer interacts with so many animals in these stories and how realistic it is all presented. I would describe these characters as whimsical. They all have something interesting about them like the lion wanting to comb is hair and the canaries so curious about the treasure. It was such a fun journey to meet and get to know all these characters so simply. Elmer talks to all sorts of animals on the island including alligators, a lion, gorillas, and more. He helps the canaries. His friend the alley cat continually helps him with the dragon. And of course, Boris the dragon and his family become Elmer’s friends too. I just loved the matter of fact tone and how each character was described. 

These stories are absolutely perfect for reading aloud. A few reasons why I can’t wait to read them with my kids sometime soon:

  • Short and easy to follow stories with small chapters
  • Lots of fun pictures illustrating Elmer’s adventures
  • Simple stories that read quickly
  • Read like a simple story and can be stand alone stories
  • Clever characters and action

I can’t say enough how excited I am to read these stories to my kids. The stories are engaging and clever. I love the whimsical characters and our likable hero, Elmer. These books just feel and read like childhood. I would love to own these and experience them with my children! 

11 thoughts on “[My Father’s Dragon & Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon]: A Review

  1. Pingback: January Wrap Up & February TBR – greenish bookshelf

  2. I remember my mom reading these aloud to my brother and I when we were kids. They were among my favourite books, so imaginative and whimsical! When I worked at a bookstore chain during university these were something I loved to recommend to parents and I’m so glad that they are still available and hold up well decades later. I hope your kids enjoy them! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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