59th out of 77 books — 16 voters
The Land of Long Ago
by Elsa Beskow
Kelly and Kai are whisked off to a distant land with princesses, knights and trolls, when a mischievous gnome brings their play tree trunk to life as a dragon.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 10th 2010 by Floris Books
(first published 1923)
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Sorry, just hasn't held up well. Definitely sexist, could be bothersome to those sensitive to issues of class and race, too. I can see the appeal of the fantasy, the power of imagination, and the gentle humor and may have enjoyed this four decades ago - but not now.
Kelly and Kai love to play on the gnarled old tree trunk outside their cottage in the woods: sometimes it becomes a horse, sometimes a crocodile and sometimes even a dragon. One day a mischievous gnome makes the tree trunk come to life, and the children are whisked off to the Land of Long Ago on the back of the old tree dragon. On their incredible journey Kelly and Kai meet a princess, rescue a knight and trick the king of the trolls. But will the old tree dragon stay alive long enough to bring...more
Definitely dated - but lovely illustrations and high adventure for everyone. Beskow is racially insensitive to trolls and doesn't know that little girls can be knights now too, but this was written in the 1920's long before we had more enlightened views of the fantasy genre.