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The Book of Dragons by Michael Hague
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The Book of Dragons (1995)

by Michael Hague

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When I was a small girl, one of my favorite picture books was The Unicorn and the Lake, illustrated by Michael Hague. Late last year, I noticed that he was also the illustrator of a collection of dragon stories, and I thought "Oh boy! Let's get a copy of that!" so I requested a copy on Paperbackswap.com.

As I started in on the book, however, I was disappointed to find that many of the dragon stories were excerpts from longer books, and frankly couldn't quite standalone. The Adventures of Eustance is just a chapter from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Bilbo Baggins & Smaug is an excerpt from The Hobbit, and The Reluctant Dragon is only just a piece of Kenneth Grahame's classic book. Additionally, both of the E. Nesbit entries are from The Book of Dragons, which I read back in 2007. The selections from the Brothers Grimm and Andrew Lang were not new to me, either. So it was a little disappointing to realize that out of the seventeen tales, less than half were new.
But I suppose that isn't Hague's fault.

The illustrations are watercolor, so they don't have the really bright vibrancy you can get from acrylics or computers. That's fine. I like the subdued palette. Each image matches the tone of the story, so some of them are quite cartoon-like (The Reluctant Dragon for example) but others were quite lovely. It would be a good introduction to dragon mythology. ( )
  makaiju | Jan 30, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688108792, Hardcover)

For thousands of years, the legendary dragon has inspired awe and wonder in cultures the world over. Now Michael Hague, one of America's most beloved painters of fantasy, boldly captures seventeen classic dragon tales. Within these pages are the stories of heroic dragon slayers such as Perseus, St. George, and Sigurd, as well as the magical writings of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. The mythical dragon will be very real indeed for all who read these enchanting tales.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:11 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A collection of short stories featuring dragons, by such authors as Italo Calvino, Kenneth Grahame, and Elizabeth Coatsworth.

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