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King Jack and the Dragon
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King Jack and the Dragon

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  883 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
An irresistible knights-and-dragons fantasy for the very young, in the tradition of Oxenbury's enduring classic We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Jack, Zack, and baby Caspar spend all day fighting dragons in their homemade fort. But when Sir Zack and Caspar are taken inside for bed, King Jack - alone on his throne - finds himself feeling a bit less brave . . . especially when he h
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 18th 2011 by Dial Books (first published July 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,321)
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Jan 30, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury is a knights-and-dragons fantasy for the very young.

Young friends Jack, Zack and Caspar build a castle out of a carboard box, a sheet, a blanket, some sticks, broken bricks, trash bags, and odds & ends. They fantasize about fighting dragons and beasts all day. As it gets dark, one by one, the kids are taken away by giants until Jack is left all alone. There, in the dark, a scary monster with four legs approaches.

The text
Sep 01, 2011 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Open this book and you are immersed in a wonderful world of make-believe that you will not want to leave. There is a timelessness to not only the story here, but the way it is told.

Jack, Zack and Caspar were making a fort for King Jack out of a large box, a sheet, a blanket, some sticks, broken bricks, some trash bags, and other odds and ends. Then they spent the entire day fighting dragons and beasts until they returned back to their fort for a celebratory feast. Unfortunately, after that a gi
Apr 23, 2012 Kathryn rated it liked it
I'm a huge fan of Helen Oxenbury's illustrations and they are wonderfully suited to the story here as she does a great job with both the "real world" creations (the box-castle that Jack builds, the expressions of Jack and his friends) and the imaginary creatures Jack battles. Peter Bently's rhyming text is engaging and flows smoothly and I love the sense of imaginative play and also how skillfully he shows the change in little ones from being brave to needing Mommy and Daddy!
I guess I was just
Falan Miller
Jan 31, 2016 Falan Miller rated it really liked it
"King Jack and the Dragon" is written by Peter Bently and Helen Oxenbury. It is written in poetic form and I love how it is written. This book was about a little boy, his friend, and his baby brother. The three of them decided to go on an adventure and fight dragons for the afternoon. The three were victorious as they fought off all the dragons and monsters. There came a time when the oldest brother was left all alone in the dark by himself. He didn't feel as invincible as he did when his friend ...more
Josh Sonii
Oct 27, 2014 Josh Sonii rated it liked it
This book is about three friends that are going to build a fort. One of them is a king named Jack, but the other two names are not revealed yet. They got a big cardboard box, an old sheet, sticks, some trash bags, broken bricks, an old quilt, drawbridge, and a flag then the castle was done. King Jack stands on the bricks and gives a speech preparing them to fight the dragons. Then some dragons appeared and they began to fight them. After the dragons they began to fight some beasts that they beat ...more
Apr 29, 2014 Laurie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle McBeth
Aug 29, 2014 Michelle McBeth rated it it was amazing
I loved this book beginning with the cover. Who couldn't love the three little boys who built themselves a castle out of cardboard, blankets and other things laying about? The littlest one sucks his binky and points the dragons away. The next oldest boy has saggy pants and a dragon slaying spirit. Then there is Jack, who tries his best to brave the dark after his friends have left. He plans on continuing the game of dragon slaying all by himself. But he is very happy when his parents bring him h ...more
Feb 10, 2012 Trace rated it it was amazing
In a word - ADORABLE. We must have read this library book half a dozen times and I certainly didn't tire of it one bit... too cute for words.
Benjamin Elliott
Apr 24, 2016 Benjamin Elliott rated it it was amazing
This is excellent. The varying illustration style works well to change the perspective from moment to moment without having to do too much with the text. The story they tell about the boy and his friends and the counterpoint in the final act where he's alone in the dark is great. The pictures to a great job of setting Caspar off as a separate character acting appropriately for his age. Lots of stuff done right here.
Only two nitpicks, a couple places the words were forced into an awkward read to
Sep 07, 2014 Tamara rated it it was amazing
King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently and Helen Oxenbury story for children everywhere is a playful and imaginative tale of how vast and amazing a child’s imagination can be. We meet King Jack and his men who make their castle and defend it from the dragons! Who are not really dragons (but I will not spoil the ending). With the lovely illustrations and suspense filled parts, children and adults will enjoy this story. A great part of the story is that suspense can be built which will fully eng ...more
Brindizi Hamblin
I kind of really enjoyed this book a lot. It is something that I kind of did when I was a kid. Often times I would create castles out of the landscape in my backyard and even the fallen leaves. I'd build the walls with dead leaves and create a castle and just explore my imagination. I loved this book because it was a lot like this. I loved how it was relatable and something that I hope every kid experiences in one way or another and also give them a little stimulation in their creativity, which ...more
Amy Forrester
May 17, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
King Jack and his trusty men, Zack and Casper, troop outside to build a castle in the backyard out of an old cardboard box and some sheets. With their fortress in place, they battle dragons and beasts all day long, only breaking for a fabulous feast. But then a giant comes to take Sir Zack home and Caspar is carried off to bed. King Jack sits in his castle and declares that he shall fight the dragons alone. As the wind makes the trees quiver and the sky quickly darkens, the little king wraps him ...more
Alex Sandiland
Oct 24, 2012 Alex Sandiland rated it really liked it
This book is about three little boys named Jack, Zack and Caspar. They decided to make a den for King Jack and his men. They made this fort from things around their house like a sheet, a cardboard box, some sticks and bricks, and some trash bags. This fort included all of the necessities of a great king. It has a royal throne, a drawbridge and a flag. After the castle was built, they spent the whole day defeating dragons and beasts. They returned to their fort after the day was done. Zack's fath ...more
Ali Dutil
Oct 17, 2012 Ali Dutil rated it it was amazing
“A big cardboard box, an old sheet and some sticks, a couple of trash bags, a few broken bricks, a fine royal throne from a ragged old quilt, a drawbridge, a flag – and the castle was built.”

Jack, along with his friends Zack and Casper, have decided to build a fort/castle. Jack declares himself as king while Zack and Casper become his knights. They spend the day fighting dragons and beasts protecting their castle from being destroyed. After a long day of defending their stronghold, they retire
Julia Jasztal
Jan 24, 2013 Julia Jasztal rated it liked it
Mommy's review from 12/21/11 -

I really, really think Helen Oxenbury did a fantastic job here. It's not often illustrations fit so beautifully with a story. The baby added so much to the story IMO and Julia thought that was the cutest touch.
The story isn't hard to follow - it's about a little boy and his friend and his baby brother playing knights and dragons in their backyard. Like most kids they really let their imagination go when "building" their castle and shortly after this is finished the
Jenni De la mare
Mar 13, 2014 Jenni De la mare rated it really liked it
Shelves: march
It may sound weird to describe a book as cute but this one really was. The three boys out to hunt dragons in the back yard in their castle (blanket fort) was just fun. I loved the imagination aspects of this book. I feel like imagination is becoming a thing of the past and reading books like this one makes me happy. And building a "castle" to live in while hunting dragons doesn't have to be an outside activity, you could do it in your house if outside isn't an option!
Mar 27, 2015 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: matthew
we read this almost every night to our little boy. the art work is beautiful, alternating black and white pictures for the younger baby eyes, and colorful images. It has a dragon and our son loves to go "rahhh!" when we get to that page. It has great rhyme and helps him wind down. Perfect for little boys and their parents who can remember playing with cardboard boxes outside during summer evenings when the day seemed to go on forever. A must read.
Nov 29, 2015 Hilary rated it really liked it
Shelves: baby-toddler
2yo enjoyed the story, and I liked seeing the variety of monsters for each child, but the best part was seeing the three children building themselves a fort (castle) and playing outside till dark arrives and parents bear the sometimes-reluctant children home. Lovely illustrations too! Bonus points to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library for including a British book.

Can't count how many times I've read it since the spring!
Madi Sharp
Mar 05, 2015 Madi Sharp rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed King Jack and the Dragon. Jack had a wonderfully vivid imagination. It was very cute and fun to follow his string of thoughts. I think that a lot of kids can relate to this story. They are constantly daydreaming and thinking up the unimaginable. I liked how the big scary thing was his parents, and they comforted him.
Three young boys play at being a King and his knights, building a mighty castle and fighting dragons and other beasties, before they are taken away by "giants" and brought home. King Jack lasts the longest before he is scared by "the Thing" and is later brought home. A cute book about imagination and play, would be a great book for a preschool storytime. Loved the illustrations. Recommended for ages 3-6, 3 stars.
Jennifer Thompson
Dec 01, 2014 Jennifer Thompson rated it it was amazing
An excellent imaginative book from the kids perspective. The language and cadence of the rhymes are impeccable, and they are effective at fostering literacy and language skills in children of all ages... And the adults!

My brother gifted this to my son for his 2nd birthday, and it's been a solid favourite for the last 2.5 years.
Ashley Lewis
Mar 12, 2014 Ashley Lewis rated it really liked it
Shelves: march
I really enjoyed the pictures in this book. They were detailed and very imaginative. I also liked how the author told the story in rhymes. The storyline was cute and made me reminisce on my childhood. I loved being with friends and pretending to be and do different things. This book illustrated the creative minds of young children.
Andrea Tuura
Nov 18, 2015 Andrea Tuura rated it really liked it
King Jack fights imaginary dragons with his friends in their castle. They play until night comes and the "giants" take the other boys away. Jack is left by himself, scared and alone, until 2 giants (his parents) come take him away.

This book would be great for enjoyment and helping students make predictions.
Jane G Meyer
Feb 02, 2012 Jane G Meyer rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A fun book for story time--either at bed or whenever... simply sweet. Three little munchkins head out into the backyard to play and fight dragons. They play until dark, until they're swooped up by their parents and carted off to bed. In the middle of the book there are three spreads that are fantastic! The art covers both pages, and on the first the kids are fighting dragons, on the second they're fighting beasts, and on the third spread the beasts and dragons are fleeing through the forest. So ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Faith rated it it was amazing
One of my 2 year old sons favorite bedtime stories. Great rhythm and flow and keeps him completely engaged, so much so, that he takes the book and "reads" it a second time after I've read it...which probably means more than any review I could write. The art by Helen Oxenbury is fabulous, as always!
Loryn Tindall
Mar 05, 2015 Loryn Tindall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creativity
This book was an absolutely terrific book about a child's imagination. It would be great to read with younger children that have a big imagination. It would also lead to some pretty cool ideas for activities. Beware- making a castle out of cardboard boxes is a must after reading this!
Helen Oxenbury is second only to Janet Aahlberg in my mind for her drawings. This book has wonderful drawings and the story shows how children's imagination makes everyday items in to something altogether more interesting. It was nice to see a distinct lack of health and safety and mollycoddling as the children are left to their own devices and collected at twilight (based on the parents' clothing it's summer so these toddlers were out until around 10pm. Yes, I've clearly invested too much time ...more
Sep 29, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I really enjoyed this book. It was cute and had nice rhymes that flowed off the tongue. I actually liked the art and the paler colors also. It was a cute story. Overall an enjoyable book. My 1 year old daughter liked it also and sat pretty still and pointed at pictures.
Leticia Martinez
May 08, 2014 Leticia Martinez rated it it was amazing
This book is a really good fantasy book for small children. Its about three small boys in a back yard that pretend to defeat dragons and beasts. They build their throne out of materials that they find in the backyard and pretend to be the heros for the day. Cute story.
Jul 27, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ncbla
In a story with which almost all of us can relate, Jack and his two good friends, Zack and Casper, spend the whole day playing out in the yard. They create a castle out of the materials available to them, and commence to defend it from all sorts of creatures. But as night falls, his comrades are forced to desert him when their parents take them home. Jack is left to defend the kingdom all by himself until his adventures are forced to end as well since it's time for bed. I loved the rhyming text ...more
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