Posted by: Ms. Matson | May 11, 2009

My Father’s Dragon

Gannet, Ruth Stiles.  My Father’s Dragon.  Illus. by Ruth Chrisman Gannet. New York: Random House, Inc., my fathers dragon1948.  Newbery Honor.  Fantasy.

AR Level: 5.6 (I contest this. How on earth is this a 5th grade level text? I’d say third grade.)

Elmer is an ordinary boy who meets an extraordinary alley cat, one who can talk, and who tells Elmer how to make his dream of flying come true.  On Wild Island a baby dragon is imprisoned by the other animals, and if Elmer can rescue the dragon, he could fly.  Readers follow Elmer as he uses his cleverness and a bag of not-so-random items to outwit the animals that have enslaved the dragon.

My Father’s Dragon is the sort of story that the average second or third grader would make up, and they won’t want to put this book down because it’s full of surprises.  Gannett keeps readers reading to find out what kind of animal Elmer will meet next, from tigers, to monkeys, to crocodiles.  The black and white illustrations add charm to the story, such as the rhinoceros brushing his horn with toothpaste.  Reading My Father’s Dragon brought me back to my childhood of fantastical dreams and adventures. This book, along with the two sequels, will be a mainstay in my classroom library.


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