Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review - My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stile Gannett and Ruth Chrisman Gannett (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Children’s
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 68 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: August 23, 2010
ISBN: 978-1453782057
Stand Alone or Series: 1st in My Father’s Dragon series
Source: Swapped through PBS
Rating: 4/5 stars

I got a copy of this book to read with my five year old son. It is a very fun and clever children’s read with some great lessons and some wonderful illustrations.

When Elmer Elevator hears about the plight of a poor overworked baby dragon from an old neighborhood cat he is determined to save the dragon. He travels to Wild Island and, through a series of crazy events, saves the dragon from the animals keeping it prisoner.

This book was first published in 1948 and I am amazed at how well it has aged. The writing is fairly simple and is definitely at a younger level but it still made for an excellent story. There are a couple spots where the language is a bit archaic but not many.

Elmer Elevator encounters a number of less than friendly animals and for each encounter he finds a clever (and sometimes hilarious) way to distract the animals. For example he gives the rhino a toothbrush and toothpaste for his very dirty horn and he gives the tigers chewing gum. It was great fun to see how Elmer would combat the next group of animals.

Additionally all the lands have wonderfully fun names. Elmer lives in the land of Popsicornia and travels through Tangerina (known for its tangerines) to get to Wild Island.

Elmer uses cleverness instead of violence or force to get through his adventures. He also frees the poor baby dragon from slavery. All while eating tangerines. The only part of the story parents might object to is the fact that Elmer runs away from his parents at the age of nine to do all of this.

My son loved this book and immediately wanted to start on the second book of the trilogy, Elmer and the Dragon. The pictures throughout are fun and wonderfully done. They match the tone of the story excellently.

Overall a wonderful fantasy read for children. This is a chapter book but is written at a lower reading level that is easy for younger children (5+) to understand even if they can’t quite read it yet. Elmer uses cleverness and humor to survive his noble adventure. The wonderful pictures only add to the excellent story. Highly recommended to read with kids, especially those interested in adventure and fantasy.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge


  1. Oh, I absolutely love this trilogy! What joy it brings back remembering reading it to my boys when they were little! Will have to re-read it just for me one of these days.

  2. I had never heard of this trilogy before and saw it on the geek dad's list of top books to read with children. My son and I just finished the third book in the trilogy last night. It was such a fun trilogy and my son (who is 5 yrs old) absolutely loved it!