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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)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  19,832 ratings  ·  914 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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Ktmeier I just read this aloud to my 4.5 year old, who is just starting to listen to chapter books at bedtime. He really enjoyed it. Easy to read in 1-2…moreI just read this aloud to my 4.5 year old, who is just starting to listen to chapter books at bedtime. He really enjoyed it. Easy to read in 1-2 chapter increments.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dawn Marie
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
Drew Graham
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
Karen
Annabelle give it 4 Stars.

I thought it was a good book.
Why?
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
...more
Karissa
I got a copy of this book to read with my five year old son. It is a very fun and clever children’s read with some great lessons and some wonderful illustrations.

When Elmer Elevator hears about the plight of a poor overworked baby dragon from an old neighborhood cat he is determined to save the dragon. He travels to Wild Island and, through a series of crazy events, saves the dragon from the animals keeping it prisoner.

This book was first published in 1948 and I am amazed at how well it has aged
...more
Jasmine
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
...more
Robin Gaphni
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
...more
RB Love
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
...more
Carmen
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
...more
Corinne
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
...more
Logan
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
Jenn
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!
midnightfaerie
I couldn't get any of my children interested in this book. While I found it mildly interesting, I thought at least my 5 yr old would like it, considering he loved the Chronicles of Narnia and books like James and the Giant Peach. But no, not an ounce of interest. It's a shame, the story was relatively well developed. I think I enjoyed it enough to try it again when they're older. Maybe I'll buy a used copy and add it to our collection.
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.
Paulina
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...
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Lovely little adventure story of
boy who travels to an island and
meets many intriguing creatures.
The story never feels contrived.
Recommended.
Sarah
My Father’s Dragon was written by Ruth Stiles Gannett. This is a fantasy fiction book that has also won n award; it is a Newberry Honor Book. The book starts off when Elmer Elevator is a child but is told through the voice of his son. Elmer Elevator hears about a baby dragon being held on Wild Island from a stray cat he took in. He decides to go and run away from home and rescue it. He stows away on a ship and manages to seek onto the Island of Tangerina, which was right next to Wild Island. Elm ...more
Megan B
We loved this book. This is about a boy who goes on an adventure to rescue a dragon and has to outwit the many jungle animals who want to eat him or thwart his mission. Fantastic.

This book was well written, creative, and funny, the adventure fast moving and and simple. I enjoyed this book as much as both of the kids and I hope the other two books are as good.

What I didn't like:
I never like it when little boys disobey their parents or run away (you know, like almost all children's adventure sto
...more
sprout
I missed this gem as a kid. My own boys laughed aloud a few times and begged for more. We'll be going on in the series for sure. It was well-written and entertaining. Unlike some other reviewers, I was not taken with the narration. I thought the repetitious use of "my father" was a bit distracting and annoying. One of my boys actually asked me why I kept saying it as I was reading. I had to stop and explain. He then asked why the narrator didn't just call him Elmer. So for the rest of the story, ...more
Alison

I think this is an adorable children's story and I love, love the illustrations. Also, the naming of the characters and islands. I love it. There are some good lessons tucked into the story and Elmer certainly is a clever little boy. Reading this with Wesley and seeing him react chapter by chapter really helped me to appreciate it more than I would have on my own.
Jenn
This was the third chapter book I've read with my 4 year old, and so far, the best. While I didn't love the story as much as Charlotte's Web (the one we read just before this), this was a great chapter book for a young child. There are simple, black and white pictures on almost every page and the story is easy to follow. The chapters (and the book) are quite short. We read a chapter every night and finished in a week and a half or so. The day we finished, my daughter asked if we could read it ag ...more
Richelle
Published in the 1940's, this little chapter book has been around for years. I've read it a couple of times before at school, but this time around with my five-year-old busy buddy. He really got into it and didn't want to stop. There are quite a few black and white illustrations to hold the attention of the younger set. Elmer Elevator takes a trip to wild island with a backpack full of an interesting assortment of items that turn out to be exactly what he needs in his encounters with wild beasts ...more
First Second Books
I'm re-reading MY FATHER'S DRAGON and loving it as much as I did when I was eight, but for different reasons.
Cass
Recommended to me when I was looking for some chapter books that I could read to my daughter.

I liked it enough to buy the sequel, but not enough to write a longer review.
Ruth
Fun story with great illustrations. Perfect beginning chapter book.
Amy Frangipane
Just finished this one in a few nights with my 4 year old -- his first chapter book read aloud with me. A fun and wonderfully quirky adventure story.
Nicole
This is the first chapter book that I have read to my daughter (just 4). I picked it based on the recommendation of Kids Books in Vancouver. My daughter enjoyed it and it held her interest. The book focuses on a little boy who has an adventure with various animals. The story is sweet and the little boy is clever, always managing to trick the animals in order to achieve his ultimate goal. Each chapter has an incident with an animal that stands alone as a small adventure which made it an ideal boo ...more
Ian Wood
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
...more
Katy Kissel
This work of fantasy is a Newbery Honor Book and is written for young children, likely around the ages of 7-10. In this book, Elmer Elevator runs away from home to rescue a baby dragon trapped on Wild Island. As he rescues the dragon, he also solves the problems of several other animals, including hungry crocodiles, a lion with a messed up mane, and a rhino with a dirty horn. This was an excellent story for young children to read. It was fun and exciting, without being scary or overly stimulatin ...more
Aleksandra Petrovich
This Newbery Honor Book is a real classic (published in 1948). It is the story of a 9-year-old boy called Elmer Elevator. One day, a stray cat tells Elmer about a baby dragon captured by the animals of Wild Island who use him to cross the river. Elmer decides to go and save the dragon. On his journey, he encounters various island animals who want to eat him, but he manages to escape each time by distracting them with an item from his knapsack (toothbrush for the rhino, chewing gum for the tiger ...more
Clelia
I bought this for my little sister as a Hanukkah gift, reading it myself first to make sure the message of it was okay to pass on. This is a very cute story, with adventurous imagery and details but also a familiar narrative. I loved the Alice-in-Wonderland-ness (there really should be an adjective for that) of it, and the hero's ability to reason his way out of dangerous situations. But as I was looking for some dated, intolerant message in the book I thought I spotted traces of colonialism. Th ...more
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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)
Elmer and the Dragon (My Father's Dragon, #2) Three Tales of My Father's Dragon The Dragons of Blueland (My Father's Dragon, #3) My Father's Dragon: Books 1 and 2: #1 My Father's Dragon #2 Elmer and the Dragon (My Father's Dragon) Katie and the Sad Noise

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