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A Book Dragon by Donn Kushner

A Book Dragon (edition 1988)

by Donn Kushner, Nancy Ruth Jackson (Illustrator)

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206456,890 (3.68)6
Title:A Book Dragon
Authors:Donn Kushner
Other authors:Nancy Ruth Jackson (Illustrator)
Info:Henry Holth & Co (J) (1988), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 197 pages
Collections:YA read but unowned

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A Book Dragon by Donn Kushner


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Nonesuch is a dragon, and the protagonist of the story. We meet him as a very young dragon in ancient times. But dragons, it seems, live a very very long time, and the book's chapters aim at a handful of specific points of Nonesuch's life reaching to the present day. The premise, that a dragon's duty is to always guard its treasure, and that this dragon has chosen a book as its treasure, is a delightful concept for a booklover such as myself. But the storytelling is uneven. There are stretches of the book that are warm and delightful, there are stretches with more involved plotting, and there are stretches that grow quite tedious long before they reach an end. It is at heart a children's novel, good, but no classic. ( )
  fingerpost | May 30, 2016 |
A charming tale about a dragon called Nonesuch, who is the last of his kind. It covers some six hundred years of his life, starting out when he is a young dragon living in a medieval forest. Needing a treasure to guard, Nonesuch forsakes the usual gold and instead chooses an illuminated book. For a time he observes the monk who illustrated the volume, then accompanies the book on its journey through the centuries. He survives while his relatives die out, by his ability to change size in order to hide. He watches humans from secrecy, reflecting on their various follies, and in the end is a little dragon no larger than an insect, haunting a modern bookshop and still guarding his precious book. At one point a rat teaches him how to read, and Nonesuch can finally value his book not merely as a physical object (albeit a beautiful one) but for the words it contains. Such an engaging little fantasy, written for younger readers but with intriguing little details and clever explanations (like how the dragon survived into modern times by fasting, hibernating and changing shape). There is some moralizing in the tale, and Nonesuch deals out his own form of justice, to people he feels deserve it. A story sure to charm booklovers who like a little light fantasy.

from the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Jul 11, 2015 |
I own over three thousand books and have read many more. But this charming book is on my Top Ten all-time list. The story of a dragon who finds its ambition as a Book Dragon is whimsical and also sad, in a way. It takes Nonesuch the Dragon a while to find his bookworm ambition, six centuries in fact. The adventures take the reader through the ages, and children will be in wonderment at the description of plague-stricken London and caves full of treasure.

This is the kind of story that allows us to remember the innocence of childhood, while treasuring the love of books. Real books. The kind you hold in your hand. The illustrations are pen-and-ink, and the chapters start with beautiful calligraphy mirroring the medieval ages. I'm fairly sure my groaning bookshelves have a Nonesuch living in them.

Book Season = Year Round ( )
1 vote Gold_Gato | Sep 16, 2013 |
A charming book about a young dragon who discovers a treasure better than cold gold and gems - books.
  Nodigio | Dec 18, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donn Kushnerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Warhola, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Although we seldom hear of dragons nowadays, does this mean they no longer exist? Isn't it possible that dragons simply no longer appear undisguised?

Nonesuch is just such a dragon. Spanning six centuries, A Book Dragon chronicles his adventures, taking him from a treasure-strewn cave to a lofty Gothic cathedral, from plague-stricken London to a cozy 20th-century bookshop. How does a ferocious dragon manage to roam inconspicuously? He makes an ingenious adjustment that allows him to remain a well-kept secret.
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Nonesuch, the last in a line of dragons, uses his unique ability to change in size to survive for six centuries, during which time he observes such different humans as a medieval monk, an eighteenth-century London chemist, and a modern American bookseller.… (more)

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