August 12, 2010

My Father's Dragon

See?  This is just the kind of thing that's going to make me happy I'm now a librarian.  Here's a classic I've never read.  I was tossing 3rd grade read aloud ideas around with My Lovely Bride, the best 4th grade teacher ever, and this was one she mentioned.  I couldn't place it, but lo, it was in my library.  So I'm off to a good start catching up with children's lit.

It's kind of like and extended version of Harold and the Purple Crayon and is a great beginning chapter book.  It follows the adventures of a young boy, the narrator's father, who tricks a number of wild beasts on an island that would otherwise eat him up with just the right combination of items in his pack in an effort to, of course, rescue a baby dragon.  The pictures keep the tone light throughout.

It's silly and wonderful and will be a good one to recommend to imaginative second and third graders.

I hear there are sequels but don't know anything about them yet.


Emily said...

I hadn't heard of this book either- thanks for posting about it! It looks adorable.

Eric Carpenter said...

My Father's Dragon is an amazing 2nd grade read aloud. I've also used it for 3rd grade literature circles. The structure of the book is wonderful and it makes a great mentor text for young writers. Chapters 4-10 all present a small problem which Elmer must solve all leading towards solving the major problem (saving the dragon). Students get a great understanding of plotting, conflict and resolution.

The sequels are equally charming and fun but lack the tight structure of the original.

NatalieSap said...

You had me at Harold. I have to go read this now. But I'm vaguely aware that I may have weeded this and its sequels last year...

Peaceful Reader said...

This became a favorite of my son's in second grade and it is still popular with kids, like Flat Stanley it stands the test of time.

Jim Randolph said...

It is!

Great ideas! I'll share w/my teachers. Thank you for the insightful comments.

I'm going crazy weeding as well!

I just read Flat Stanley for the first time as well with my daughter!


Victoria said...

That is a book I have missed too. A. is the best 4th grade teacher! Noah is really enjoying Summer of the Monkeys that y'all gave us. Thanks!

Jim Randolph said...


Glad to hear it!

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

I didn't read this book until I was an adult, but I loved the whole trilogy.

I recommend the version that has all 3 books bound together for kids who are reading at 3rd grade level, but want a more "grown-up" looking book with as many pages as what their older siblings read.

Jim Randolph said...


Great idea, thanks.