Saturday, January 30, 2010

Review: My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

genre: children's literature

If you're looking for a chapter book for a child that is just beginning to have a chapter-book length attention span, this is a great one to start with. The chapters are very short with several illustrations per chapter. We don't ever even learn the name of our narrator - we only know that the main character in our story is the narrator's dad. His father has all kinds of adventures when he goes to a wild island to help rescue a dragon.

Luckily, he brought along his backpack, in which he packed all kinds of crazy items that will end up saving him from the animals that he meets - pink lollipops, hair bow, chewing gum. At the end of the book, this is what my 7 year old son seemed most taken with - the idea that he had thought of all the things he would need to keep him safe. And, of course, he loved that a little boy was able to outsmart the crazy rhino and angry tigers. It's a story that's right up the alley of my little boy, although, in truth, probably a bit young for him.

As an adult reader, it's obvious that the story is a bit dated, but I can see why it's a classic. I didn't love reading it out loud as much as other chapter books, but I can see myself getting this one from the library again when my 4 year old son decides he can follow a story from one day to the next. A great starter chapter book.


morninglight mama said...

You know this is one of our favorites around here- this was also the first chapter book we would read to our 4 year olds in the spring back when I was teaching. Definitely a bit outdated, but fun nonetheless. If you want to know what happens after the dragon is freed, pickup the other two books in the trilogy. :)

Fyrefly said...

I loved this book when I was a kid! Still do, really... I think the main character's name is Elmer, although I don't think you find that out until the sequels.

Cami said...

We did this whole series this summer and loved it! Jeffy has been re-reading them, and Ethan has even picked them up from time to time. I think it's totally great.

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