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The Book of Dragons

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  3,113 ratings  ·  306 reviews
Dragons — of all sorts — make for marvelous fun, and this collection of madcap tales is filled with them. Some of the legendary monsters are funny and mischievous, others are downright frightening, and a number of them are wild and unpredictable. There's a dragon made of ice, another that takes refuge in the General Post Office, a scaly creature that carries off the larges ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Dover Publications (first published 1899)
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The Grimm Reader It is not really possible to give a very long plot description because The Book of Dragons is a collection of short stories, each with it's own "mini"…moreIt is not really possible to give a very long plot description because The Book of Dragons is a collection of short stories, each with it's own "mini" plot. It would be easier to pick one story, read it (each story is not super long), and then decipher the plot of that one story -- which isn't very hard because the stories are all pretty straight forward. (less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  3,113 ratings  ·  306 reviews


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Julie
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
If I told you that E. Nesbit dedicated this book to one of her husband's many illegitimate children, would you be more inclined to read it?

Of course you would.

You'd probably also love to know that E. Nesbit (Edith) was so enamored with her “main man,” one Mr. Bland, that she put on her man pants and made a career out of her writing (at a time when women could barely eke out a living doing anything), and took one for the team.

Her husband was apparently in ill health, and couldn't work, yet every
...more
Swaroop
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Published: 1899

E. Nesbit`s The Book of Dragons is a wonderful collection of eight imaginative, delightful and interesting dragon stories.

These fire-breathing fascinating short tales are not to be missed!

And the Blue Bird and the Butterfly sing and flutter among the lilies and roses of the Palace garden to this very day.
...more
 Li'l Owl
Delightful and entertaining!

The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit is a book full of fun and entertaining short stories surrounding the world's mysterious dragons. Being a dragon lover myself, I enjoyed all the unique and delightful stories, finding myself lost in a magical world, far away from the tension filled murder and crime novels and the psychological thrillers I take in on a daily bases. It was a nice break.
Dragon lovers of all ages will be lost in the magic found in this book!
...more
Donna
This book, published in 1901, is described as a fantasy classic for children of middle school age, as well as something that will enchant people of all ages. It has eight stories featuring youngsters and dragons who come to cross purposes and clash. And how it ends depends on courage, luck, and much help from the author.

I chose this book because I wanted to read something light after a string of heavier books, and because I like imaginative stories with dragons in them. But I failed to see the
...more
Debbie Zapata
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gutenberg
Another Literary Birthday Challenge title, The Book of Dragons is a delightful collection of eight short stories by E. Nesbit. I know many people have read and loved her work for years, but this is only the second title of hers I have ever seen. I still find it hard to believe I never discovered her in my youth, but I can always make up for lost time.
To paraphrase what used to be written in the unexplored areas of ancient maps, Here There Be Dragons: a red dragon who escapes from a book, a pur
...more
Megan
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book as a little girl-- I think I received it as a birthday present for my 7th birthday, possibly my 8th. It was love, pure and simple. I read it and re-read it, and puzzled over all the strange British details (St. George? Bath buns? Guy Fawkes night???), and just ate it up like it was ice cream. And then I went and grew up and became a normal (ok, normal-ish) person, except that every once in a while, something --a bowl of soggy cereal; a fresh fall of snow as pretty and spar ...more
Cheryl
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-enjoy-again
I reread this every decade or so, and love it every time. Yay, it's now on Project Gutenberg so I can reread it again any time, and pass on my paperback to another reader.

Yes it's old-fashioned, but free from the pretensions and stuffiness that one tends to associate with that word. Yes, it's charming, almost twee - but, like the tales of Beatrix Potter, for example The Tale of Ginger and Pickles, it's got plenty of mischief and satire.

Far and away my favorite Nesbit, and probably my favorite d
...more
Dan
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Book of Dragons is a children’s book of eight stories about, you guessed it, dragons. The book was written over a century ago but holds up surprisingly well.

Edith Nesbitt is one of the most popular children’s authors of all time. She is a master storyteller and her books have a good deal of humor, wit and rarely take things too seriously. CS Lewis is said to have read her books when he was a child. I couldn’t find anything about Tolkien reading Nesbitt when he was a child but the story of S
...more
C.J. Stunkard
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I discovered this book on Kindle but unfortunately let it sit on my digital bookshelf for 18 months gathering bytedust (if there is such a thing). When I finally made the time to read it, I was very glad I did. Granted, I had thought it was a non-fiction book outlining all the various dragon myths of the world, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it was much more.

The Book of Dragons is a fun series of kid-friendly and humorous short stories about children and their misadventures wit
...more
C.P. Cabaniss
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, short, reviewed
*I received an audio copy of this book through Audioboom. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

I don't know what didn't work for me in this. Some of the ideas were interesting, I just wasn't that thrilled by how things were handled. This was intended for children, I believe, so some of the issues with story telling might just be that I prefer stories written for an older audience.

Each story deals with a dragon. Usually the characters have to kill the dragon to escape or trick the dragon into b
...more
Bookish Devil
Jul 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Considering the fact that this book came out nealry a century ago, it wasn't a bad read. In fact I'm pretty impressed with the simplicity of the language which makes it easy for the reader to follow the stories.
Kids who love fantasy ie. Dragons, Princess and stuff would find this book to be amusing.
...more
Alina
Ohhh, while reading this, I could imagine a gentle grandma from the ~20s UK telling her grandchild/grandchildren nice little dragon stories, punctuated with teachings and (English) humor.
It definitely stroke a chord with me (even if the stories are - naturally! - childish).
La La
These stories are written in classic fairytale style and wrapped up in Wonderland hijinx with a side of Gulliver's adventures. I listened to the audiobook.

I was supplied with a review audiobook via Audiobook Boom.
...more
Kevin Potter
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how I went my entire childhood without ever experiencing any of these. But as it is, this is a fantastic collection of short dragon-centric stories.

Karen Krause does an excellent job narrating the audiobook. Her voices are top notch, with even her male voices being varied and believable. Her vocal inflections are excellent and her tempo shifts throughout border on perfection.

Each of the 8 included stories are very different, from tone to theme to character and even setting.

All have
...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
The stories here are cute and the style enjoyable, but so many things don't mesh with our way of life anymore. A lot of the notions are super old fashioned and pretty much in a harmful way (girls being sillier than boys, goodness being equated with being white and blonde, girls needing to be saved all the time... And all the animal killing, omg. Save the dragons.) ...more
Catherine
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a delightful collection (with a few mediocre exceptions) of magical stories!

A seemingly parentless boy finds himself king and owner of a magical book with illustrations that come to life. A microscopic dragon in a girl's eye is the first sign of an invasion of dragons of every conceivable size.

Nesbit's children are sometimes naughty, often highly intelligent, and almost always curious. They don't always follow rules, going outside when there are dragons about, sliding down an enormous sli
...more
Anita
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know that feeling of excitement you got when reading fantasy books for the first time as a little kid? This book will totally give you that feeling again! Edith Nesbit wrote these eight dragon stories over 100 years ago, and they are absolutely meant for children, yet they're written with such warmth & wit I found myself laughing out loud many times. There's a story about a dragon escaping from a book, a dragon at the north pole, a dragon who eats an entire village in one gulp, a dragon bani ...more
Claudia
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairytales, fantasy
A charming collection of children stories featuring dragons and not only, with great teachings at the end of each. I gave it only 3 stars because I read it (obviously) too late but I can appreciate the thrill a child will have by reading /listening it.
LobsterQuadrille
It's been so long since I've read anything by E. Nesbit that it was very refreshing to finally revisit The Book of Dragons. I remember this book from my childhood, but the only things that stuck in my mind were the rather disturbing sealskin dwarves. But beyond that, there are many entrancing things to be found in this collection: magical books, mixed-up planets, the origin story of cats, and of course, dragons.

The wonderful narration is what stands out the most in these tales and makes them m
...more
Gretchen
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dragon-lovers of all ages will enjoy the eight fairy-tale-like stories that involve dragons in some significant role. Each story is vastly different than the others, so the unifying factor of the dragons creates no redundancy. Nesbit’s tone is lighthearted, humorous, playful, and hopeful, which makes this a great read for 5th grade and younger. I do think older kids would enjoy it, as long as they are not “too cool for school.” Recommended for those who enjoy The Hobbit; very similar style and t ...more
Jessica
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What charming book filled with stories of princesses, curious children and of course dragons. Reading these stories woke the kid in me that loved to curl up on my grandmothers lap for story time. The delightful writing style and clever twist had me smiling throughout the book - “My Princess," he said tenderly, "two great powers are on our side: the power of Love and the power of Arithmetic. Those two are stronger than anything else in the world." ...more
Jessyca Bryan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Page
I'm not sure I would have waded through a print version of these stories; the writing is quite dated and while the wit comes through in the audiobook, I am not sure it would on the page. That said, there are a couple of gems in this collection, in particular The Dragon Tamers which celebrates a hardworking but poor blacksmith and the "out of the box" thinking that comes from necessity. ...more
Sarah
This is a fun collection of short stories with Nesbit’s characteristic biting wit. While not our favorite of her work we’ve read so far, it was entertaining and enjoyable. My favorite thing may have been recognizing elements in these stories also found in the Harry Potter series. Upon further research I was gratified to discover that Rowling is a big fan of Nesbit.
Charlotte
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
A happy find in a little free library, which I had never actually read before (which surprised me!) not her best writing by a long shot, but there's enough of her sense of humor that it mostly worked for me; here's an example: "Even the lords of the castle in the good old times had never known where those steps led to, but every now and then they would kick a prisoner down the steps in their lighthearted, hopeful way, and sure enough, the prisoners never came back." ...more
Jefferson
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In The Book of Dragons (1900) E. Nesbit tells eight humorous and imaginative fairy tales about dragons set in modern England or fairy tale kingdoms, all with a modern perspective that both subverts and enjoys the genre. In addition to a variety of dragons (with different sizes, colors, personalities, abilities, and so on), Nesbit writes engagingly about other creatures, from magical ones (cockatrice, manticore, etc.) to non-magical ones (elephants, rabbits, etc.). Wizards and witches, princes an ...more
R.
Feb 14, 2017 added it
This book is a collection of stories on dragon, some princesses, and a few evil uncles. However, they aren't the cliched, cold porridge plots we typically think of.
Nesbitt has such a charming, informal way of writing. I fell in love with her style in the first two sentences.
The main thing I didn’t like was that in two stories there’s a witch/wizard who is considered good. Also, she doesn't always take a stand against disobedient/dishonest children. She condemns their actions verbally but the p
...more
Max
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
This is a cute little collection of stories about dragons. There's a nice range of dragons here, in terms of color and type, from a classic red fire-breather to a dragon made of ice to a few that really follow the old term "wurm" for dragon. Of course, all of the dragons are rather nasty, but that's to be expected from Western dragons, especially in a book written a hundred years ago. Friendly dragons are, at least in some ways, a more recent trend. In terms of genre, there's a mix of fairy tale ...more
Elevetha
Honestly, I'm not sure what didn't work for me here. A set of short stories all featuring dragons with some classic fairytale ambiance that still smacks heavily of Britain. But something was just off for me.

The writing is very reminiscent of Valente's Fairyland series, which I quite enjoyed, but even with Fairyland, the constant whimsy and nonsense gets to me sometimes, which is part of my issue with this. There are some genuinely clever and amusing turns of phrase, and I recognize that the wa
...more
Susan
This charming collection of children’s tales all center around dragons of one ilk or another. Each story can be read as a stand alone. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to and reviewing two of these stories previously and when I saw that he narrator had 8 stories in one collection, I couldn’t resist. I know it would be good stuff and I wasn’t disappointed. These stories are great for kids and fun for adults too.

The Book of Beasts – This is one of the stories I have previously listened to and re
...more
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Children's Fantasy: collection of dragon stories. [s] 8 486 Dec 03, 2018 11:45PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Page numbers missing 3 27 Jul 10, 2013 05:05PM  

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Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.
She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later connec
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