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My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

My Father's Dragon (1948)

by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Other authors: Ruth Chrisman Gannett (Illustrator)

Series: My Father's Dragon Series (Book 1)

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2,300352,763 (4.07)55



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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
35 months - This was our first attempt at a chapter book with few pictures. We borrowed it from a friend who highly recommended it as a good starting book. It was an excellent choice. O liked the map which we looked at before we started and then as a recap after we finished. O was easily able to follow and visualize the story line with all the animals involved and the funny things the boy does with items in his backpack. She even worked on her own book of pictures while she listened. At the end of each chapter she would ask a question or two and I'd ask do you want to read another chapter.... YES! We stopped for dinner and she told her Dad all about the story in great detail. We finished it up before bed but I think we'll be reading it again as she's been talking about it all day today. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
A lovely read wherein ‘my father’ – Elmer, rescues an alley cat. Mother did not approve. Nevertheless, he secretly keeps her. Because of that, his wish to fly is granted when the cat tells him about a dragon. And so his adventure begins…

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 bag with a label saying "Cranberry," some clean clothes, 25 PB&J sandwiches and 6 apples.

In every chapter, he’ll has to find a solution to get around his obstacles, and soon it becomes clear what those rather odd items can be used for! ;)

It was a true pleasure rediscovering this book! ( )
  NinaCaramelita | Feb 26, 2015 |
Written like an old folk tale or fairy tale, this is a delightful tale of a boy who travels through a strange and dangerous land to rescue a dragon. He uses cleverness and kindness as his tools. A good book for young children - complete with a map! ( )
  empress8411 | Jan 1, 2015 |
Summary: In this story a young boy recounts the story of his father’s journey to rescue his very own dragon. The story begins with the father, a young boy at the time, being reprimanded and punished for adopting and caring for a stray alley cat. The young boy shares his dreams of flying with the alley cat as they walk through the park one day and the cat begins to tell the boy how he could help him fly. The cat tells the boy about the Island of Tangerina where he traveled and learned of the inhabitants of Wild Island. On Wild Island lived a young baby dragon who was being held captive to transport the citizens of the island across the river because they were too lazy to walk around the tip of the river. The alley cat helps the boy prepare for a trip to Wild Island to rescue the dragon and gives him a packing list that surely saves his life when he encounters the tigers who love to chew gum, the lion who is more concerned about the appearance of his mane and the alligators that loved pink lollipops. The boy narrowly escapes rescuing the dragon that then flies him to safety.

Personal Reaction: This was a wonderful book and a fanciful tale. I loved the subtle under tones of human encounters such as the lion being afraid his mother would cut his allowance if she saw his mane completely a mess. The mouse and the boars were hilarious in their pursuit of the invasion and the fact that they boy had exactly what he needed in his knapsack to counter each of the attacks that he faced was delightful. When you first hear the items in his pack you can’t imagine what they are for so to see how he uses each of the items is interesting. A great book for young boys to read.

Classroom Extension:
1. A fun activity after reading this book would be to have the students draw one of the characters in the book. Each of the animals had distinct characteristics and it would be fun to see how the children would illustrate these characters.
2. Another fun extension of this book would be for the students to brainstorm what other animals Elmer might have encountered on Wild Island, describing the situation of their meeting and what Elmer might have had in his pack to dissuade them from further attack. ( )
  msmarymac | Feb 20, 2014 |
This 1949 Newbery honor recipient is a simple tale told in a marvelous manner.

Weary of admonishment by his mother, Elmer Elevator listens to a verbal stray cat regale his tales of travel. Hearing the tale of
Wild Island and a dragon captured there, Elmer decides to free the dragon.

With lovely illustrations, we accompany Elmer in his quest. ( )
  Whisper1 | Jan 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruth Stiles Gannettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gannett, Ruth ChrismanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For my father
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One cold rainy day when my father was a little boy, he met an old alley cat on his street.
He took chewing gum, two dozen pink lollipops, a package of rubber bands, black boots, a compass, a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste, six magnifying glasses, a very sharp jackknife, a comb and a hairbrush, seven hair ribbons of different colors, an empty grain bag with a label saying "Cranberry," some clean clothes, and enough food to last my father while he was on the ship. (p. 20)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394890485, Paperback)

My Father's Dragon--a favorite of young readers since the 1940s and a Newbery honor book--captures the nonsensical logic of childhood in an amusingly deadpan fashion. The story begins when Elmer Elevator (the 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. The quirky, comical adventure ends with a heroic denouement: the freeing of the dragon. Abundant black-and-white lithographs by Ruth Chrisman Gannett (the author's stepmother) add an evocative, lighthearted mood to an already enchanting story. Author Ruth Stiles Gannett 's stand-alone sequel, Elmer and the Dragon, and her third volume, The Dragons of Blueland both received starred reviews in School Library Journal and are as fresh and original as her first. (Ages 4 to 8)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:27 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A young boy determines to rescue a poor baby dragon who is being used by a group of lazy wild animals to ferry them across the river on Wild Island.

» see all 4 descriptions

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