July 25, 2013

Fun Dragon-Themed Books for Preschoolers

Quirky Bookworm: Fun Dragon-Themed Books for Preschoolers

Eleanor and I have been on a roll lately with finding good picture books. And funnily enough, they've tended to fall into themes. So I thought I'd do a couple of posts about each set of books. Today: dragons!

King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.

Eleanor grabbed this one at the library, and we both love it. The titular Jack is a toddler, and he and his friends Zack and Casper spend all day building a castle and fighting dragons and beasts. Then a "giant" comes to take Zack and Casper home; and Jack is left alone to defend the castle. Unfortunately for poor Jack he hears a four-legged THING coming his way. Just when he starts panicking, Jack realizes the THING is his mom and dad. And then King Jack bravely rides home on a giant's back. The rhymes in this book are perfect; and the illustrations are adorable.

My rating: 5 out of 5
Eleanor's rating: 5 out of 5
Recommended ages: 2 and up.

Take Care, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas, illustrated by Paul Meisel.

This one is kind of random, but Eleanor loves it. It's part of a series starring the Good Knight -- though this book features three small dragons who live in a cave. Every night the Good Knight comes to tuck them in ("Good night, Good Knight"), and all is well until the three small dragons agree to watch the old wizard's cats while he's out of town. Sadly the three dragons can't read; so they misinterpret the old wizard's instructions, and do silly things like taking the cats swimming and camping; until the Good Knight intervenes. The ridiculous premise is what slightly bugs me (why does a wizard have so many cats?! Who asks dragons to cat-sit?!) but it's cute, and Eleanor cracks up about the stuff the dragons do to the cats every time. Oh, and the moral of the story is literacy: the Good Knight starts teaching the dragons to read at the end of the book.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Eleanor's rating: 5 out of 5
Recommended ages: 3 - 6

Over at the Castle by Boni Ashburn and Kelly Murphy

Eleanor didn't seem to like this one quite as well (at least she hasn't asked me to read it 42 times a day). The illustrations are gorgeous though, and I like how the singsong text is a counting primer written to the tune of "Over in the Meadow". The story starts with two dragons; then goes on through knights, servants, jesters, prisoners in the dungeon, etc.  "Over at the castle, by the moat shining blue/ Stand the old gruff guard and his fellow guards two. 'Watch!' says the guard, 'We watch!' say the two/ So they guard all day by the moat shining blue." The first time we read it I thought that the dragons might actually fire-breathe on all the people in the castle, which seemed rather harsh for a kids' book - but I should've known better. They just put on a fireworks show for everyone!

My rating: 4 out of 5
Eleanor's rating: 3.5 out of 5
Recommend ages: 3 - 6

Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, illustrated by Tim Bowers

This book tells the story of a young dragon named Crispin, who is about to turn seven, and thus start fire-breathing. But alas; Crispin is not your typical dragon. Instead of fire, he breathes things like band-aids, marshmallows, and beach balls -- whatever anyone happens to need at the moment. He meets a knight, Sir George, who tries to help him breathe fire, but nothing helps. Crispin's father is at first upset, but after Crispin breathes water (saving the family when his father starts fire-breathing and almost burns down the house), he wins his dad's approval. It's a very cute little story, with a nice theme and Eleanor and I both enjoy it - she giggles a lot at some of the funnier things that Crispin breathes out.

My rating: 4 out of 5
Eleanor's rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend ages: 3 and up

What's your favorite dragon-related book?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, thanks for supporting Quirky Bookworm! I don't own any of these, they were all library check-outs.