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Book of Dragons by Edith Nesbit
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Book of Dragons (original 1900; edition 1997)

by Edith Nesbit

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7401212,599 (3.9)13
Member:carlym
Title:Book of Dragons
Authors:Edith Nesbit
Info:Troll Communications (1997), Edition: 3rd THUS, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, YA, mythology, dragons

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The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit (1900)

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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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 reviewed. It was just as good the second time around. The child king Lionel finds a book once owned by one of his distant grandsires. Like all good kids, he plays with it and sets a giant butterfly free. He’s warned not to do so again, but he releases yet another fantastical critter (a bird of paradise), and then another (the dragon!), which threatens his kingdom and he must make it right again. A hippogriff and manticore come into play too! 5/5

Uncle James – This story was so cute and it was mostly because there are cute little dog-sized elephants! Who doesn’t want a pet elephant that can snuggle on your lap and eat popcorn while you watch Flight of the Dragons? This tale takes place in Rotundia where all the sizes are backwards and a dragon has shown up that wants a princess as a present. Now this isn’t your typical ‘save the princess from the dragon’ story, as young Tom found out. By the way, keep your eye on Uncle James. He may not be trustworthy! 5/5

The Deliverers of Their Country – This was my favorite out of all the stories. It starts with young Effie getting something in her eye and that something is a teensy tiny dragon! Go ahead, squeal in love and excitement. I know I did. Who doesn’t want to adopt such a little dragon? However, these small dragons keep popping up throughout the land and they are starting to wreak havoc. Now Effie and her friend Harry have to find a way to reduce the number of dragons. It’s a clever solution to an over-population problem. 6/5

The Ice Dragon – Imagine North Pole dwarves dressed in seal skin. Now toss in an ice dragon. Lastly, make room for two adventurous kids, George and Jane, who just wanted to see the Northern Lights. things go ever so wrong. This story was actually a little gruesome because it has a bit of a body count. It’s not gory but I was a little surprised at little bit of darkness that crept into this story. Still, it was clever and the kids survive, so all’s well. 5/5

The Island of the Nine Whirlpools – This was an interesting one. A childless Queen goes to an old witch begging for a child and the witch takes her jewels and uses them to whip up a baby girl. The Queen is totally satisfied but the King wanted a boy. So obviously, that makes a wedge between the couple. When the daughter reaches a certain age, he banishes her to an island that is protected by big beasties, like a dragon. Her mother, the Queen, and the witch both make sacrifices to make it possible for her to one day be rescued. I liked that the story hinged upon the love for an old crone. However, the princess to be rescued seemed rather daft to me, which I didn’t really care for. 4/5

The Fiery Dragon – This is the second story in this collection that gives a nod to St. George, a famous dragon slayer. Granddaughter Sabrinetta has got some skills on her which is a good thing because her unscrupulous cousin, Prince Tiresome, tosses her out of the dragon-proof tower to deal with the fiery dragon. Luckily she has a great friend, Elfin the pigkeeper, who can help her. That’s another thing I really like about these stories – so often there’s a ‘commoner’ that is essential to solving whatever dragon issue there is. 5/5

The Dragon Tamers – This had a little steampunky feel to it. John is a blacksmith and he and his wife have a new baby that cries often and loudly. Yet even with that intermittent noise, John has noticed an odd sound coming from the basement. He finally has to go down there for coal and he meets this dragon that needs rivets to repair his wing. The dragon isn’t shy about telling John what he plans to do once his wing is repaired: eat all the people including John and his family. Now John has to outsmart this dragon and that loud baby gets to play a key role in the subterfuge. It was clever and fun. 5/5

Kind Little Edmond – This is the second story I had the privilege to enjoy previously. This is the tale of young Edmond, who was filled to the brim with curiosity, so much so that he often irritated his elders. But not his loving and doting grandmother. Edmond decides to explore the nearby mountains and hears some very odd sounds. He meets and helps a mythical beast, a manticore, who rewards him by telling him magnificent tales. This was a great little tale and I really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed this one as the tale has this underlying current about the value of learning things for oneself. 5/5

The Last of the Dragons – This great little story turns the typical princess + dragon + prince story on it’s head. Tradition requires the princess to be rescued from the dragon by a prince. However, this princess would much rather rely on her own fencing skills. The dragon isn’t too thrilled about the idea of coming out, threatening a nice young lady, and then being slain for the sake of tradition. This prince is up for doing something different. Why should he have to do all the hard work? It’s a great story to finish out the book. 5/5

I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobook Worm.

The Narration: Karen Krause does such a lovely job with this classic. Her little kid voices are so believable yet she is also great at doing grumpy elderly characters as well. Her voices for the various beasts are also fun. You can tell that she enjoyed narrating these tales as much as I enjoyed listening to them. Great performance all around! ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Jul 15, 2017 |
Probably not for the very youngest children. One of Nesbit's very best works, and one of my favorites. The sly and ironic attitude helps it hold up well over the generations. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Cute fairy tales

These were fun stories to read with my son. Being a dragon lover, I wish there were more stories where the dragon wasn't the villain, but they were cute stories nonetheless. I love the way they were written, with comments directed at the reader. ( )
  TaraAnderson | Aug 12, 2015 |
See other copy for review ( )
  antiquary | Mar 5, 2014 |
A set of short stories having nothing in common except that they are about dragons. Some are rather minor Nesbit, but Nesbit is always worth reading. A line that stuck in my mind as a child was "Fair play is a jewel" --the idea that being fair even to enemies is just. ( )
  antiquary | Sep 30, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. Nesbitprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blegvad, ErikIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Millar, H. R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He happened to be building a palace when the news came, and he left all the bricks kicking about the floor for Nurse to clear up - but then the news was rather remarkable news.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This contains eight dragon tales (originally published in 1899-1900). They include: "The Book of Beasts","Uncle James, or the Purple Stranger", "The Deliverers of Their Country","The Ice Dragon, or Do as You are Told", "The Island Of the Nine Whirlpools", "The Dragon Tamers","The Fiery Dragon, or the Heart of Stone and the Heart of Gold", "Kind Little Edmund, or the Caves and the Cockatrice". A later collection called The Complete Book of Dragons (1972) contains an extra story.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816708525, Paperback)

A classic collection of dragon tales by author Edith Nesbit.

Excerpt:
"Sire, your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather's death happened when my grandfather was a little boy," said the Prime Minister, "and since then your loyal people have been saving up to buy you a crown--so much a week, you know, according to people's means--sixpence a week from those who have first-rate pocket money, down to a halfpenny a week from those who haven't so much. You know it's the rule that the crown must be paid for by the people."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:54 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Presents eight tales about dragons, both dangerous and friendly, in a variety of times, places, and situations, including magical kingdoms and the exploits of daring heroes.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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