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A Book Dragon

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  167 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Nonesuch, the last in a line of dragons, uses his unique ability to change in size to survive for six centuries, during which time he observes such different humans as a medieval monk, an eighteenth-century London chemist, and a modern American bookseller.
Hardcover, 197 pages
Published April 1st 1988 by Henry Holt & Company (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 388)
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Cynthia Egbert
This story was not as smooth as I would have liked but the story is so sweet and covers so much of the England history that I love so I appreciated it overall. If you love books and/or English history you will enjoy this one.

A few bites:

"For several generations now, they had lost the ability to breathe fire. The only traces that remained of this once mighty power were the internal fires that caused their eyes to glow and to give forth enough light for the dragons to find their way in pitch darkn
Robert Runte
Jul 03, 2012 Robert Runte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-sf-f
Review from circa 1989

This is one of those books that almost makes me wish I was a classroom teacher again, because it's the sort of thing that demands to be read to a room full of 12 year olds.

A Book Dragon is the delightful tale of Nonesuch, a dragon who adopts an illustrated manuscript as his personal treasure and defends it against all comers. Nonesuch survives into the present day by shrinking to insect size, and becomes a fly-on-the-wall observer of various human comings and goings. Kushne
Oct 13, 2011 GoldGato rated it it was amazing
I own over three thousand books and have read many more. But this charming book is on my Top Ten all-time list. The story of a dragon who finds its ambition as a Book Dragon is whimsical and also sad, in a way. It takes Nonesuch the Dragon a while to find his bookworm ambition, six centuries in fact. The adventures take the reader through the ages, and children will be in wonderment at the description of plague-stricken London and caves full of treasure.

This is the kind of story that allows us t
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This is the first book I've read by Kushner, and, I must say, I love his style of writing. Here he tells the story of a dragon, Nonesuch, from his life in as a youngster five hundred years ago to today, as he guards his treasure, an illuminated manuscript of the Book of Hours. Kushner introduces some dragon lore that I've never heard before, such as a dragon's ability to change size by eating or fasting allows him to hide in modern times, and a dragon's being visible in the flames of a fire. Par ...more
Mary Catelli
A little marvel of a book. The story of the dragon Nonesuch, growing up with his grandmother, and what she taught him. Particularly the importance of guarding his treasure. How she left him and he learned how to grow smaller as well as larger, and how he came to regard an illuminated Book of Hours as his treasure, and what he had to do to guard it.

The interior art is something else. It's the lovely little marginalia like that it describes in the Book of Hours that give it a particularly nice tou
Oct 08, 2015 Trace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
September 18, 2015 - Reading this at the same time as my son (each on our own)... it is pure delight so far!!

This book was a delightful read. The subject matter would delight most boys.... the author has a lovely way of writing without 'dumbing' down, as sometimes is the case with modern books aimed at youth. He pulls in history, mythology into this fascinating fairy tale.

I was delighted to learn that this author was a local author from my city! Definite recommend.
Dragons must have a treasure to guard, or so says Nonesuch’s grandmother. But when Nonesuch finds himself alone and getting smaller, he embraces his new size and finds a new sort of treasure.

Over the course of the novel, Nonesuch travels through a number of time periods, stopping for longer stays in a Medieval monastery, and then again in the modern era. On the way, he passes through the War of the Roses, the Black Plague, the Fire of London, the dawn of the Age of Reason, and World War II (thro
Apr 14, 2007 Debbie rated it really liked it
This was a charming book. Though it was written for children, it's a story that adults will enjoy as well, filled with history and even some (well-hidden) philosophy. It's a short book and an easy read. While I loved the story, I also enjoyed the little illustrations that pepper the margins of the book as well, like an illuminated manuscript. The book's out of print, but snatch it up if you see it at a used book sale. I'm glad I did.
Denae Christine
The only thing interesting? The dragon shrinks when he stops eating. He talks with random animals on unimportant things and gets a sentence on defending his book from bugs. He spends pages talking with his mom and walking through the very hot cavern. He spends chapters listening to a bookstore be cajoled and threatened by a rich buyer, and then (view spoiler)
Could have been 3 pages. I kept waiting for it to get in
Jun 04, 2012 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awww, that was precious, though the ending was... odd? But yes, I would love a book dragon to reside in my library too!
Maria Renate
Feb 09, 2016 Maria Renate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another one of those unexpected tails. I first read this book when I was very young and they still kept good books in the library children's section. I think I found the very same copy at the library sale when they got rid of it. It's about a dragon who learns to rethink aspects of dragonhood from his grandmother, and so gets on in a world that increasingly has no place for dragons. At least of the usual size.
Apr 24, 2015 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the more dull books about dragons that I've read (until the last 40 pages, when something exciting actually takes place) this chronologue of the experiences of a dragon over 6 centuries would be of little interest to children, despite including some history lessons. If you like dragons, go read Tui Sutherland's Wings of Fire series.
K A Lewis
Jun 08, 2015 K A Lewis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This unique book is one of my favorite books of all time, and among the best dragon books ever written. A glorious and detailed fantasy about a smallish dragon and his treasure - a medieval illustrated manuscript - that has the flavor of a legend or a classic George MacDonald fairy tale. I re-read it every couple of years.
Bree Riley
Sep 11, 2015 Bree Riley rated it it was amazing
It's been years since I've read this but I found it at the library book sale. I remembering loving everything about this book from the fantasy story to the detailed illustrations throughout.
Justin Dixon
Sep 08, 2014 Justin Dixon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This whimsical book still makes me smile just thinking about it.
Kristine Sprunger
Mar 04, 2015 Kristine Sprunger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this *years* ago. I still remember it fondly.
Elle Butantan
Jan 17, 2015 Elle Butantan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Booooooring book! it was a total waste of time reading it!
Apr 17, 2009 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This charming fantasy tale concerns Nonesuch, a dragon who begins his life in the forest, but then becomes the inspiration for an illuminated figure in a medieval manuscript. Because all dragons must guard a treasure, Nonesuch decides that he must guard this book. He goes to sleep in the box where his book is kept and, through various adventures and events, wakes up again in a modern-day bookshop. Truly a delightful story, and one I enjoyed just as much upon my re-read as I did the first time ou ...more
Nov 17, 2015 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating 3.75 stars.
Sam Poole
Very cute and fun. A dragon goes on a diet after his grandmother goes into the center of the earth and becomes tiny, then adopts an illuminated manuscript with a dragon modeled after him as his treasure. He sleeps for a few centuries then helps out a small local book store. Light hearted though at times written in a rather stodgy style.
Mar 04, 2011 Daleb. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes dragons, or who have/know of children who luv to be read to.
Recommended to Daleb. by: I haven't a clue how i learned of this book, but i suspect it was while i worked at Waldenbooks ages ago.
I've got this book packed away somewhere back in east Texas at my parents home. I've read it several times and luv the story of this fine little dragon. The illistrations are fantastic. Why can't they still do stuff like this in books???
A very great lite read, that is sure to pick you up and make you smile
Feb 16, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-lit
When I was younger my grandmother bought this book for me as a gift at a yard sale. I still have this book, it is slightly beat up and worn from many readings. The book was a great read in my youth and I will even admit to pulling it off the shelf for a re-read as an adult. :)
Jun 10, 2012 Kerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading with Marcus.

It's taken us a long while, but we finished this last night. Marcus gave it a 9/10 (I'd probably given in more like a 7 or 8, but it's his call).

I'll get him to offer a few words on the book when I can get him to focus on it for a moment.
Jun 29, 2009 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title and blurb alone got me; I can't wait to read it.

ETA: I really enjoyed this; it had a childish slant to it, but there was something so adult about the story. It was also so descriptive, I could imagine Nonesuch the Dragon quite clearly.
Dec 29, 2013 T J rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This a one read book about a dragon through time and his love of books.
Dec 11, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
Beautiful little story about a dragon who guards the single item of his "hoard" -- an illuminated Bible -- through the centuries. One of my all-time favorites.
Oct 16, 2011 Heather marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Picked up this book at the library's used book sale. Sounds cute.
Sharon Sadvari
Sharon Sadvari rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2016
Vex marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2016
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