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My Father's Dragon (My Father's Dragon, #1)
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My Father's Dragon (My Father's Dragon #1)

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  25,819 Ratings  ·  1,181 Reviews
Elmer Elevator (narrator's father as a boy) runs away with an old alley cat to rescue a flying baby dragon being exploited on a faraway island. With the help of two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, and a fine-toothed comb, Elmer disarms the fiercest of beasts on Wild Island.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Yearling (first published 1948)
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Jenny It's a cute book. However, the boy calls his mother rude for asking the boy to not bring home a stray cat. And then he runs away from home. So if…moreIt's a cute book. However, the boy calls his mother rude for asking the boy to not bring home a stray cat. And then he runs away from home. So if you're concerned about introducing negative ideas, then I wouldn't recommend it to very young children. (less)

Community Reviews

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Feb 24, 2017 Mischenko rated it it was amazing
Please visit our blog for this review and others!

My Father's Dragon is a childhood favorite that will never get old. It's a perfect read out loud story for young readers. The black and white illustrations are delightful and it's a story that will be enjoyed forever. 5*****
Dawn Marie
Jul 13, 2012 Dawn Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddos
In the third grade, I met Mrs. Palombi, my favorite teacher ever. She taught us how to churn butter (you sit in a circle, pass around a bottle of heavy cream that everyone takes a turn shaking up, and spread the resulting curds on Ritz crackers), she brought a cotton candy machine to the Fall Festival (during the summer, she ran a beach shack that sold summer treats) and let you “roll your own” as big as you wanted, and every holiday she’d present us with little pins she crocheted herself to com ...more
Casey ~Kaleidoscopic Killer of the Deep~
Overall, it was a lovely enough book that it is worth a read, but I don't think this is one we will revisit.

Both of my littles sat while we read this one over a few nights. It's not as long as some of the other books we've read so my three year old was able to stick around for most of it. This wasn't a favorite but they did stay engaged. I had heard such wonderful things about the story that I think I was expecting something a little different.
Plus a dragon... I mean, that's gotta be a win right
Feb 23, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annabelle give it 4 Stars.

I thought it was a good book.
Because it was fun.
What made it fun?
The pictures, I loved looking at them.
What else?
The words. I liked reading them to get a chore done.
Would you recommend this book to others to read?
Yeah, I think other people would like this book.
Like who?
I think Adelyn and Trinity might like it.
What would they like about it?
I think they would sort of things some things would be a little silly.
What was silly?
Like, lions using brushes and combs and get
Drew Graham
Dec 01, 2011 Drew Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me
I loved this book as a kid, and I seem to recall it was the first chapter book I ever read. (Upon my discovery of the Table of Contents, I thought its purpose was so that you could go there and decide which chapter you wanted to read instead of having to read through the whole thing.) Years later I remember having loved it, but very little about the story or the characters, so I decided to give this short Newberry winner a quick read, and it was very quick indeed. Told from the point of view of ...more
Robin Gaphni
May 22, 2009 Robin Gaphni rated it it was amazing
My Father's Dragon is a perfect first chapter book to read to your four or five year old because there are pictures on almost every page. The chapters are short and simple, and it moves along at a nice pace. It’s action based, which is what makes it so attractive to younger readers. I think it has special appeal to kids who don’t like to sit still for a book. Both of my sons and my daughter count it as one of their favorite books from childhood.

Briefly, it’s the story of Elmer Elevator, a nine-y
Feb 13, 2011 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Shelves: american
okay so recently I haven't read any real books. I apologize but I'm fucking inundated in research on the difference between sex typed traits and sex roles and I"m going crazy enough as it is. I will start actually reading again soon I just needed a moment of calm to get through the storm

recently I've started a habit of rereading. I mean are books as good as I thought? I mean I was historically quite a little idiot (just wait till I reread nothing but the truth). Well this book is. I think a lot
Aug 04, 2014 Carmen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents; Children
Recommended to Carmen by: Alice
Elmer saves an alley cat and feeds her for weeks. In return, the cat - upon hearing Elmer's wish to fly - tells him about a baby dragon that is being held captive on the far off Wild Island.

Elmer sneaks out of his house one night with chewing gum, two dozen pink lollipops, a package of rubber bands, black rubber boots, a compass, a toothbrush and a tube of tooth paste, six magnifying glasses, a very sharp jackknife, a comb and a hairbrush, seven hair ribbons of different colors, an empty grain b
Dec 21, 2011 ~Bellegirl91~ rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I remember my Grandpa reading me this book all the time when I was little!! He's now 88 and would always remember him reading to me and my sister and grandkids when we were younger. I also remember he once told me it was one of his special/favorite books! I also remember wanting him to read it to me or I'd just look at the pictures. but I loved this book and definitely recommend it! Maybe next time I go back to their house (just down the street/walking distance from us which is nice) I should go ...more
Megan Olsen
Jan 19, 2017 Megan Olsen rated it it was amazing
After a hard morning of sickness, I put my cranky 7-year-old son in his bed to rest, and began playing this audiobook from my phone to catch a few minutes of child-free peace. (Not our usual, snuggle-and-read-together, cover-of-parenting-magazine approach to books, but it was one of those "Jesus-take-the-wheel" kind of days.)

When I left, he was whining that he didn't want to be in bed and definitely didn't want to listen to a book, so I promised him he'd only have to listen for fifteen minutes o
RB Love
Feb 06, 2009 RB Love rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2009
Finally got through My Father's Dragon with the restless Meteor. He's more of an action kind of guy as opposed to a boy who can be read to. He'd rather wrestle.
Good first chapter book all around, I suppose. A little boring really. The most interesting thing about it, I thought, was that it's had such a long shelf life, (1948), without my ever having heard of it, (my older boys said that they thought they remembered their 3rd grade teacher reading it to them in class) and that it was written by R
The first book really worried 4-year-old Logan. He didn't understand why the animals were being so mean to the baby dragon and each chapter brought new worries about what the animals would do to the boy. But we'd talk at the beginning of each chapter about how the boy had everything he needed in his bag to deal with situations that came up and then we'd try to guess which of his random collection of stuff he'd need. He liked the second book better. The third book was brought more worries about w ...more
Tayler Boswell
Jul 21, 2016 Tayler Boswell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
One of my all-time favorite children's books.
Oct 19, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it
A great first chapter book for little ones! My 4.5 year old & I both loved it & couldn't wait for bedtime to read another chapter.
Mar 04, 2017 Karol rated it it was amazing
Utterly charming and imaginative story and wonderful illustrations, too. I got quite a chuckle out of some of the drawings. No wonder this has been a popular childrens' book for so many years.
If you're looking for a chapter book for a child that is just beginning to have a chapter-book length attention span, this is a great one to start with. The chapters are very short with several illustrations per chapter. We don't ever even learn the name of our narrator - we only know that the main character in our story is the narrator's dad. His father has all kinds of adventures when he goes to a wild island to help rescue a dragon.

Luckily, he brought along his backpack, in which he packed al
J. Boo
Jan 13, 2016 J. Boo rated it really liked it
Pleasant little illustrated chapter book. "My Father" sneaks to an animal-ruled island in order to rescue a baby dragon. Will add to review after testing it on the kids.

Update: DS5 & DD3 thought it was great, and liked the way Elmer used his inventory of random objects to triumph over the dangers of the island. Grew on me with re-reading, too. Raising my rating from 3 -> 4.

Available on Gutenberg, despite its relative recency.

The following site has an excellent overview of the book, its pu
Aug 09, 2016 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
Excellent choice for an introductory read-aloud. I am trying to transition my daughter to picture-less read-alouds, so we can start digesting some exciting favorites. But, she's been on a diet of picture books and loses interest quickly. I was stunned when she wanted me to keep going with this story. I forced a stop for a couple hours (mostly to reinforce the idea of a book that can be read in multiple sittings), but she was more eager to finish than I.

It's a story of kindness and ingenuity with
Jul 28, 2012 Jenn rated it it was amazing
This is another children's book that I read to Jack. We were packing for the beach when I started it...well, Jack did not want me to put it down. We would have to do a task and then read another chapter. We actually read the book in one day, which was exciting to me because he has never been so captivated by a longer book before. Since I can relate to the feeling of being desperate to know what "happens next", I willingly gave into his wishes and kept reading!
Feb 09, 2013 Paulina rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books from when my kids were little. THis is the first chapter book that they read. Each chapter was self contained. The hero is able to use his intelligence and creativity to solve the problems that face him. Highly recommend it as a way to get kids hooked on reading...
Shira and Ari Evergreen
This book features an exciting liberation story and an egalitarian friendship between a little human boy and a dragon. When I first read it I don't think I yet had the understanding to see it as a story of oppression overcome through solidarity, but that's how I see it today, and I don't doubt that it had an impact on my social consciousness.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 25, 2009 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-1001
Lovely little adventure story of
boy who travels to an island and
meets many intriguing creatures.
The story never feels contrived.
Jennifer Foeller
Cute, but, ending is a bit abrupt. I liked it right up until the ending. My daughter was a bit disappointed that they didn't go back and see the old cat. She was really hoping the old cat would appear again.

May 17, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: readharder2016
Read aloud to my son before I even remembered it was on my to-read kids book list. Super adorable, and we both enjoyed it. My three year old has excellent taste, and I'm so stoked that he can already handle chapter books!
Laura Harrison
Aug 17, 2015 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books ever. It is a trilogy. Loved every one of them. Very cool illustrations.
Shannon Cahill
Jun 09, 2016 Shannon Cahill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mommy, liam, evan, caden, quinn, rylan
Fun little book! Kids Loved it!
Angela Boord
Jan 11, 2017 Angela Boord rated it really liked it
One of my favorite read-alouds. This is my third or fourth time through.
Laura Howard
Mar 14, 2017 Laura Howard rated it liked it
A short and sweet class read aloud.
This was an enjoyable and quick read -- a fantasy story about a boy who journeys to a strange island to rescue a baby dragon, and encounters quite a few hostile but amusing animals along the way. I enjoyed the illustrations as well. I am still curious about why the entire story calls him "my father," when there is no indication of who the "my" is. I guess it's to lend it some fictional credence.
Feb 17, 2017 Krista rated it it was amazing
Shelves: class-reads16-17
This was an amazing read aloud! My students loved it so much. The hardest part of this is doing so many different types of low voices. But man it was worth every second.
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Ruth Stiles Gannett wrote My Father's Dragon just a few years after her graduation from Vassar College in 1944.

She lives in Upstate New York.

More about Ruth Stiles Gannett...

Other Books in the Series

My Father's Dragon (3 books)
  • Elmer and the Dragon (My Father's Dragon, #2)
  • The Dragons of Blueland (My Father's Dragon, #3)

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