by Ruth Stiles Gannet, originally published 1948
Three Tales includes: My Father’s Dragon; Elmer and the Dragon; The Dragons of Blueland
“He’s got a long tail and yellow and blue stripes. His horn and eyes and the bottoms of his feet are bright red, and he has gold-colored wings.”
Here’s a truly old-fashioned children’s book, that may in fact be timeless. The original book, My Father’s Dragon, was written several years prior to it’s sequels. However, it begged for a follow-on. In the 50th Anniversary edition, all three tales are put together, which makes for a much more satisfying read. We meet the dragon, free the dragon, help him return home, and help him save his family. Very appealing to young children.
This children’s book is all about imagination, with a capital I. Just trying to picture the vividly-colored dragon takes all of my imaginative skills! There’s nothing scary about this book. Even as young Elmer meets dangerous animals, they are all just a bit too silly to be very fearful. Of course, Elmer manages to escape each one with his cleverness.
If I were to think of what else this children’s book offers in addition to imagination, it definitely is a message about kindness. Each of the three tales has, at it’s heart, a kind deed – rescuing a dragon, helping birds on an island, and helping the dragon family. It’s almost a reverse of the traditional dragon tales, where a knight does good deeds by slaying dragons. This is a lovely antidote to that message of fighting.
Despite the fact that this children’s book was first published so long ago, it’s quite easy to get hold of. All three individual books were prominently displayed in my local bookstore. A lovely gift set. It could be a read-aloud for younger children.