Dragons are one of the most well-known imaginary characters to most of us, including our children.
In typical dragon folklore, dragons have been described as an evil creature to defeat. There have been many stories where a brave knight saved a beautiful princess from a castle protected by a fire-breathing dragon.
In contemporary literature, there have been children’s books which viewed dragons from a different angle: these books tried to deliver important messages to our kids through the stories of a dragon.
Quite a few children’s books on dragons are studied, and the best five books are selected in this article. These books deliver essential and beneficial messages to our children. I hope our children like these books.
There’s a Dragon in Your Book
(Author: Tom Fletcher, Illustrator: Greg Abbott, Age range: 3~7 years)
There was an egg in the book which was ready to hatch. Then, a cute baby dragon came out of it.
When a reader tickled the baby dragon’s nose, the dragon sneezed, and a flame came out of his mouth. When the dragon tried to blow out the flame, the blow caused more fires. When the flames became bigger, the dragon thought of a brilliant idea of extinguishing the fire by imagination. He thought of a balloon filled with water, and it appeared. By popping the balloon with a finger, water splashed, and the fire was extinguished.
When he became hungry, he imagined an ice-cream. A delicious ice-cream appeared, and he enjoyed eating it. When it was time for the dragon to go home, the narrator asked the reader to flip the book like a wing. Then, the dragon could fly. On the next pages, there were more eggs ready to hatch and more baby dragons afterward.
Tom Fletcher (1985~ ) is a best-selling author in the UK. His works include the serious of ‘There’s a Monster in Your Book’, ‘There’s an Elf in your book’, and ‘There’s a dragon in your book’. He is also an active musician and YouTuber.
This story is about the power of imagination. With imagination, the baby dragon could accomplish a lot of things. It is probably the most important lesson for our precious children. I hope our children are encouraged to imagine as much as they can.
I believe most children will love the baby dragon in this book because it is so cute. The graphics in the book are so vivid and impressive. In the following YouTube video, Michelle Obama read the book.
When a Dragon Moves In
(Author: Jodi Moore, Illustrator: Howard McWilliam, Age range: 5~7 years)
On the first page, the book narrated that a dragon would move in if a perfect sandcastle were built. When a boy built a perfect castle, a dragon moved in. Then, the boy did a lot of activities with the dragon, such as using it as a built-in marshmallow toaster, a raft, a kite, and scaring away bully boys from stomping the castle.
When the boy talked about the dragon in the castle to his family members, no one believes him.
Then the dragon did some mischievous things such as eating the peanut butter sandwiches, blowing bubbles in the drink, leaving fingerprints in the brownies, and spraying sand all over his sister. When his father scolded him, he mentioned the dragon did it. When he was told to stop making an excuse, he said yes and mentioned the dragon to leave the sandcastle. He swore that he would not build a perfect castle again – at least until tomorrow. It means that he would build another castle the day after tomorrow.
The book was written by Jodi Moore in 2011. She authored another book on Dragon, When a Dragon Moves In Again, in 2015. This book is about imagination. In the boy’s imagination, a dragon moved in the sandcastle.
In some book reviews, there are comments that the boy is making an excuse for his naughty behaviors. In the children’s perspective and imagination, maybe that’s what actually happened. This book reminds me of the Polar Express as introduced in Best Children’s Books About Christmas. In this book, only children with a pure mind could hear the most beautiful sound from the silver bell.
The boy’s excuse also reminds me of my daughter, who told me that a rabbit peed her pants, as introduced in one of my blogs, Innocent Lies and imagination of children. The illustration of the book is captivating.
Not Your Typical Dragon
(Author: Dan Bar-el, Illustrator: Tim Bowers, Age range: 3~5 years)
A baby dragon named Crispin Blaze was born. He grew up, and he was about to turn 7 years old. His father and himself expected that he would breathe fire. But, when he blew his birthday cake, whipped cream came out instead of fire. When he visited a hospital to fix the problem and tried to breathe fire, band-aids came out from his mouth. During his first fire breathing practice after school, marshmallows came out.
Crispin was so disappointed, and he left for a dark cave to be alone. Over there, he met Sir George who wanted to fight a dragon. After realizing that Crispin could not breathe fire, Sir George tried to help him by referring to his book, but all the effort did not work out.
Because Crispin missed his parents and wanted to go home, Sir George took Crispin to his home. When Sir George was about to leave, Sir George’s father came and asked him why he was playing with fire-breathing dragons.
Then, there was an argument between Crispin’s father and Sir George’s father. Crispin’s father became furious and started breathing fire. The fire was uncontrollable, and it almost damaged the house and Sir George’s father. Then, Crispin breathed water and saved everyone and the village.
There are a lot of cute imaginations: a little dragon is breathing marshmallows, Band-Aids, Teddy Bears, etc. Imagining these scenes will be fun for our children.
The book covers essential concepts our children should keep in their minds. These concepts include pure friendship, the importance of a family, parental love, learning from a book, and, most importantly, embracing the difference between us.
The book will make our children think about being typical and being different. The book implies that being different is not wrong, and we need to embrace any differences between us: being different simply means that he/she is special.
My favorite quote of the book is the following conversation. “He is not your typical dragon, is he?” “No. My son is something special”.
The book’s colorful illustration was another recommendable feature of this book. This book is highly recommended.
The Dragon Who Learned to Fly
(Author & Illustrator: University of Phoenix, Age range: 4~7 years)
There was a dragon who never learned to fly. She was busy with helping others, such as taking care of her kids, lighting the town’s fires, helping people cross the river, etc.
One day, a bird came from far away and suggested the dragon to fly with him, advising her that she could visit a lot of places by flying. When the dragon mentioned that she could not fly, the bird said that he could teach her how to fly.
When the dragon said she was too busy to learn it, the bird advised her it would be possible to find spare time. She practiced in her spare time for a while, and she could fly eventually. She flew to many places, including over the sea, over the mountain, above the treetops, and into the stars. She still took care of her children.
The book was published by the University of Phoenix in 2019. The book is available to purchase, but the University of Phoenix also offers the full content of the book in the following link. Note that its downloadable version is also available.
This book covers several excellent lessons.
- we can improve our potential talents through practicing
- we can learn new things through time management
- we need to show appreciation to someone who helped us
The lessons from this book should be inspirational for our children. Its graphics are also vivid.
Emily and the Dragon
(Author: Lyn Lee, Illustrator: D.M. Cornish, Age range: 5~8 years)
Emily loved dancing with her chicken called Egg. When Jack laughed at her dancing and mentioned that girls are not supposed to fight a dragon, she said, “I don’t know that”, and went to a deep forest to fight a dragon.
To fight her fear, she kept dancing with her chicken named Egg. When Emily met a lonely witch, Emily kindly played a game with her. In return, the witch gave her an armor.
She kept walking and met a knight who hated fighting dragons and loved to knit. Emily taught him how to knit, and the knight gave her his sword in return.
Finally, Emily and Egg arrived at the dragon’s cave and challenged the dragon to fight. But, the dragon did not want to fight her, as he was busy with dancing. Then, three of them danced together. Afterward, Emily invited the dragon to her place, and the dragon accepted her invitation. While coming back home, the witch and the knight joined them. When they came home, Jack was surprised to see the dragon.
It is such a lovely adventure story of a little girl called Emily.
A lot of long-believed traditions are breakable in this story. It will make our children think about socially accepted traditions. They will be able to think about the following.
- A girl, as well as a man, can fight dragons
- A witch can be lonely like us
- A knight may like to knit
- A dragon may not like fighting
- A dragon may like dancing
These episodes may open children’s eyes. In the story, Emily offered help willingly to the witch and the knight, and get their help in return. There are a couple of funny scenes, such as the dance-loving dragon and the knit-loving knight.
The most noticeable quote from this book to me is, “I don’t know that”. By saying it, a lot of socially accepted doctrines were broken, and Emily dared to face new challenges. Emily made a lot of good friends by not following the traditions.