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Paperback The Reluctant Dragon Book

ISBN: 0805008020

ISBN13: 9780805008029

The Reluctant Dragon

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good*

*Best Available: (ex-library)

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Book Overview

When a dragon is discovered up on the Downs, the Boy is not in the least surprised. He's always known the cave there was a dragon cave, so it seems only right for a dragon to be living in it.

The Boy decides to pay a visit to the cave, and he thinks he knows just what to expect. But this particular dragon is not a bit like the ones in fairy tales!

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Wonderful book.

Fanciful and charming. I enjoyed reading it to my nephew and he loved it too. The artwork is lovely also. I'm looking forward to reading it again, with or without my nephew.

A Separate Peace

The original "St. George and the Dragon" story is a frightening tale. Depending on which version you read, the townspeople give the scaly, stinking, vicious, dragon tribute of two sheep per day, and, when they invariably run out of sheep, they begin feeding it their own children. The King is obviously horrified, but what can he do? However, when the lottery selects his own daughter, who should appear but Sir George, (later the patron Saint of England) just in time for the king, if not for the subjects. The daughter worries for his safety, but the knight spears the dragon in its one vulnerable spot, then in a gallant display, borrows the daughter's girdle to drag the wounded dragon down to the town. For his own tribute, George asks only that the citizens become baptized; after this, he cuts off the dragon's head. Not a good ending for the dragon, but then, he wasn't a very nice dragon. Like others before him, Kenneth Grahame modified this bloody tale for the consumption of the very young, and turned it completely on its head. This dragon would rather sleep than slay, purr than prey, and his true nature is discovered by a tow-headed young boy who gradually becomes friends with the pacifist, poetry-loving beast ("why I wouldn't hurt a fly."). Lay low, he advises him. Naturally, though, St. George arrives, and everyone acts as expected--except for the dragon. He simply refuses to attend his own demise: "Well, tell him [St. George] to go away," said the dragon. "I'm sure he's not nice. Say he can write if he likes. But I won't see him." The boy, however, understands the underlying social pressures (which echo those of the British class system during Grahame's time) and replies: "But you've got to," said the boy. "You've got to fight him, you know, because he's St. George and you're the dragon." The dragon, the knight, and the young boy, a person with neither power nor social distinction, make a plan. The plan is simple: Fake it. And so, like one of Vince McMahon's TV "wrestling" matches, St. George and the Dragon have it out, with flames and fury, and, as St. George just barely pierces the dragon in a pre-arranged safe spot. The townspeople, who have brought picnics for the presumed slaughter, were satisfied with the spectacle: "And all the others were happy because there had been a fight, and-well, they didn't need any other reason." The original story, one of several short studies published in Grahame's "Dream Days" (1898, ten years before Grahame's most famous and beloved work, "The Wind in the Willows") may be found at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=GraDrea.sgm & images=images/modeng & data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed & tag=public & part=7 & division=div1. Grahame wrote "The Reluctant Dragon" long at times, and one sees his concerns with religion and nature so evident in the river adventure scene of Wind in the Willows. Inga Moore takes out most of the slower, descriptive narrative (which might be en

A Treasure!

Author of historical fiction.This book is a treasure for your library. It brings endless pleasure, and is the kind of story that spans all ages.It is the tale of a boy and his dragon who lives up on the Downs. In spite of the bad reputation dragons have, the boy and he become quick friends. Saint George shows up to do battle with the reluctant lizard, and the boy arranges a mock battle, unbeknown to the villagers that pleases everyone.

A somewhat humorous children's book

This was absolutely my favorite book as a young child about 60 years ago. I am pleased to see that it is still available. Most fables about dragons picture them as dangerous beasts guarding treasure troves, but this dragon is a different sort indeed - an erudite peaceful dragon that had hoped to have a quiet retirement. When a knight arrives to rid the neighborhood of the dragon, he is invited in for tea, and discovers the dragon does not wish to fight. In the classic tale, "Beowulf," the dragon was provoked by someone stealing a piece of the treasure. In this story, the knight finds a quite different means to provoke the dragon into breathing fire (after all, the knight's reputation is at stake). The story has an unexpected ending. The book is suitable for reading to single children or groups of younger children, or for slightly older children (and sometimes adults) to read for themselves.

But who Illustrate's This Version - Marlene Ekman?

I love this story but am interested to know the illustrator. If it is Marlene Ekman's illustrations in the hardcover version then it is the best publication. Her pictures add real life to this wonderful child's story.
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