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The Reluctant Dragon
 
by
Kenneth Grahame
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The Reluctant Dragon

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,553 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
The boy who finds the dragon in the cave knows it is a kindly, harmless one, but how can he convince the frightened villagers and, especially, St. George the dragon killer that there is no cause for concern?
Hardcover, 41 pages
Published October 1st 1983 by Holt McDougal (first published 1898)
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Melanti
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really cute story.

Though, I have to wonder if a modern child is going to get all the humor that the original child audience was able to get. They'll still think it' funny, of course, but some of the humor is more specific to the era that it was written.

For instance, when the dragon says "You must tell him to go away at once, please. Say he can write if he likes, but I can't give him an interview. I'm not seeing anybody at present." the modern kids are going to get that the dragon is just goin
...more
Laurel Hicks
The Ferdinand of the dragon world. Delightful!
Ann
There once was a shepherd boy who read a lot and thus knew much about fairies, witches, and dragons. So, when a dragon moves into the hill by his family's farm, he goes to talk to the dragon. Turns out that the dragon is actually very nice, and has no inclination to cause anyone any harm at all. He really would just like to write and recite his poetry.
But, the townspeople are afraid and, even though the dragon hasn't harmed anyone, they want to get rid of him. Will the boy be able to keep the dr
...more
Jan
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kenneth Grahame is, of course, much better known for the Wind in the Willows. This book is an almost unknown gem by comparison. Kids and adults love dragons, and this one is drawn with such humour and wit that he is totally adorable. As a child I could never get enough of this book, and my daughter and her children are the same. The language will stretch a younger child but it is refreshing to have a child's book that does not 'dumb down' the writing. The illustrations are a delight and it is a ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
Jun 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-08-12
The Reluctant Dragon is a mild-mannered specimen of his breed who, unlike the "active and earnest" fellows who used to charge around battling knights, has survived long enough to develop his passion for poetry. He is befriended by an intelligent young shepherd boy, who is placed in an awkward position when the villagers discover the dragon's presence. Although the dragon has harmed no one, the villagers are so aroused that they call on Saint George to battle this "pestilential scourge." When Sai ...more
Megan Larson
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-and-ya
What a clever twist on a dragon tale. The shepherd boy is such a great reader of fairy tales that he takes the advent of a dragon to his hometown quite in stride. The only problem is that, although the dragon is thoroughly tame, the townspeople love a good fight and absolutely insist that a dragon-slayer be sent for. Thankfully, the man in question, none other than St. George himself, knows how people sometimes exaggerate, and doesn't care too much for killing. The solution is agreed upon by the ...more
Althea Ann
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course, I had 'The Wind in the Willows' as a child. I truly wish I'd had this story as well. It's less well known - but I'm not sure why.

This is a truly wonderful story-within-a-story: two children, fancying that the snow tracks they've followed from their yard are those of a dragon, encounter a kindly neighbor, who tells them a story - of course, about a boy who meets a literarily-inclined, and unusually good-tempered dragon.

Whimsical, warm and clever.
Laura (Bookies & Cookies)
Fun picture book with gorgeous illustrations & an old world European charm
Cathy aka The Attached Mama
Go! Read this to your children...now! You will thank me. This was such a fun book to read aloud. Especially if you can do a decent English countryside accent. We were all laughing out loud. The version with illustrations by Ernest H. Shepherd is the best.
VictoriaK
It was okay.
Tonk82
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: infantil-juvenil
Kenneth Grahame fue un escritor británico especialmente célebre por "El viento en los sauces", que ha tenido incontables adaptaciones en cine, teatro y televisión.

Del resto de sus obras, las que se suelen considerar mas importante son "The golden age" y "Dream days", donde recopiló parte de su ficción infantil y diversos relatos sobre su infancia. Y el relato que mas fama y éxito cosechó fue "El dragón perezoso" (The reluctant dragon).

Es una especie de reelaboración del enfrentamiento entre el c
...more
Karen
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kenneth Grahame, best known for writing The Wind in the Willows, wrote this book. Ernest H. Shepard, best known for illustrating Winnie-The-Pooh, illustrated this book. With a winning team like that, it is no surprise that this well-loved book has become a classic.

The plot of this story is straightforward enough: A dragon moves into a cave near a village. The villagers want the dragon gone. The villagers hire a knight to fight the dragon. But there are such delightful twists and turns along the
...more
Julia
I promised that I have read this book somewhere, maybe once upon a time, for it is familiar but I just cannot place where.

For me the writing was bland and the characters didn't have much of a personality besides annoying, vexing and what the. And to top the flat personalities the main characters with the exception of St. George didn't have names but were called by their place in the book then given with "and that was their skill while they were good at it".

It would be interesting to see how D
...more
Chris
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boys-books
Thoroughly enjoyed this little book. The writing was fresh and witty, and Grahame inverted the classic St. George kills dragon tale.

This dragon is reluctant to fight, preferring instead to work on his verses. The shepherd's son knows from his extensive reading of natural history and fairy tales that a dragon must fight when St. George comes to town. But this dragon balks. So the three devise a spectacle in which all keep their honor, the townspeople are treated to a worthy show, and the dragon g
...more
Tim
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Reluctant Dragon is a delight of language and plot. The pacifist and poetical dragon, the wise and well-read boy, and the compassionate St. George come together in a small story that I love to read and hear aloud.
Mamamaggie
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG, loved this. my six year old and i were reading for a library list and this story, oh this story is so witty and hilarious. i laughed many times. we are starting wind and the willows now. tickle a funny bone long forgotten, read this one.
Nicola Tapson
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-book
This was a delightful little story. I loved the twist in the story and the illustrations added to the story in a wonderful way. It ignited the imagination and I could see the story play out like a movie in my mind. This was a fab read.
David
I'd never heard of this book before I did a search on Shepard illustrated children's literature. What a sweet little gem of a book! Not much to the story. St. George vs the Dragon, except this time the Dragon is a good guy. It's the poetic prose that makes it something special. Love this book.
Jayanth
Jolly little children's tale about a poetry loving dragon who is as lazy as any of us.
Manuel Alfonseca
A singular parody of the legend of St. George and the dragon, with no princess, a dragon that refuses to fight, and a boy who acts as middleman.
Samra
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, library
adorable, dragon is a good guy. love the colors and how the characters help each other out
Rebecca
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ancestral Gael
Why did I read it? I had read The Wind in the Willows when I was a child, and only recently discovered that Kenneth Grahame had authored other books, about which I was unaware. This story sounded interesting.

What's it about? Two children are following footprints in the snow, when a neighbour calls them in for warming tea, and begins to tell them the story of the friendship between a boy, and a dragon living in a cave up on the Downs.

What did I like about it? It's a very nice, old fashioned stor
...more
Barb Middleton
An oldie moldie. But goodie. Ew... we have some really old books in our library. First published in 1898, "The Reluctant Dragon" shows how Kenneth Grahame was influenced by Victorian writers with voice. The humorous and stuffy narration reminds me of Lemony Snicket in his Series of Unfortunate Events, Lois Lowry in "The Willoughbys", and Pseudonymous Bosch in his Bad Books series, poking fun at Victorian narrators. "The Reluctant Dragon" starts out like a fairy tale, "Long ago..." and ends happi ...more
Tanya
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this as an audiobook with my kids. The narrator had a great voice. It is SO, SO, SO British! My kids enjoyed it; I paused the story several times to talk about what was happening because the vocabulary is challenging for ages 5 and 7,but I was impressed with how much my girls picked up on their own. It's not my favorite story, but it was fine.
A Severs
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short, quick read but with some archaic language (vocabulary and syntax) making it suitable for competent readers with short attention spans. There are a number of great conversation starters here, especially about whether violence is necessary or not. Bringing the legend of St George to life this famous pairing of author and illustrator is a charming gateway to older children's literature.
Katrina
What a charming story! I listened to the audiobook read by Boris Karloff, which I don't see as a choice in the editions here. (It's included in Apple Music, so you can listen for free if you're a subscriber.) Karloff is a wonderful reader and made a good story even better.
Naomi Brignola-van calster
Adorable dragon story for little boys and little girls. Because obviously, everybody loves a good dragon story. And like all good stories, it ends well, with a sweet lesson in friendship and not judging others.
Sharon Buxton
B. fiction, ageless, classic, stereotypes, Mom's stash, keep
Janelle Higgs
Juvenile Fiction. . . I liked Wind in the Willows much better!
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Kenneth Grahame was a British writer, most famous for The Wind in the Willows (1908), one of the classics of children's literature. He also wrote The Reluctant Dragon; both books were later adapted into Disney films.
More about Kenneth Grahame...
“No, I can't stop for sonnets; my mother is sitting up. I'll look you up tomorrow, sometime or other, and do for goodness' sake try and realise that you're a pestilential scourge, or your find yourself in a most awful fix. Good-night!” 5 likes
“You see all the other fellows were so active and earnest and all that sort of thing- always rampaging, and skirmishing, and scouring the desert sands, and pacing the margin of the sea, and chasing knights all over the place, and devouring damsels, and going on generally- whereas I liked to get my meals regular and then to prop my back against a bit of rock and snooze a bit, and wake up and think of things going on and how they kept going on just the same, you know!” 4 likes
More quotes…