I think nearly 10 years of writing book listicles has polluted my brain, because lately I’ve found myself theming Sam’s bedtime stories. We are super lucky to have people in our life who value reading as much as I do, so our home library is beginning to rival the actual library. I’ve written a few themed posts on kids books in the past, but as our collection grows, the urge to write more Kid-Lit listicles has been overwhelming. I think it’s time to address the dragon in the room. So, without further ado, here are a whole bunch of fun kid books about dragons!
Being Friends With Dragons by Katherine Locke, Illustrated by Diane Ewen: One of the things I love most about kid-lit is that the stories are often life advice aimed at the smaller set, and I particularly love books that address feelings and behavior. It’s kind of my knee-jerk parenting move to buy a children’s book that portrays whatever behavior or frustration we’re currently dealing with. (Ask me how many times I’ve read Teeth Are Not For Biting. We’re well past that stage now, but WHEW. I still know all the words.) This book talks about how dragons can sometimes be tough to be friends with. You know. Because they might only want to play their games and throw a fit if they don’t get their way. You know dragons. It’s a great book for kids who are just learning how to navigate friendship and developing social skills. As an added bonus, the illustrations in this book (much like Katherine Locke’s earlier book, Bedtime for Superheroes) features kids of all different shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and abilities. Representation isn’t just about “issues” books. Kids deserve to see themselves reflected in books about dragons, too.
Dragons Are the Worst by Alex Willan- I may like this book even more than Sam does, though Sammers likes it plenty because there’s a big old dragon poop joke in it. We meet a little Goblin who is frustrated that Dragons are getting all the attention. I mean, Goblins are scary too, OKAY? (It’s probably not a good time to tell this little Goblin that he’s fllipping adorable and not at all scary.) Gilbert the Goblin lists off his complaints about dragons and it’s charming as heck. And funny, because Gilbert, despite being a FEARSOME CREATURE is scared of just about everything. I just want to hug his little Baby Yoda looking self.
There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klosterman, Illustrated by Ben Mantle: I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this book before, but it’s so fun and incredibly silly. I love it. I’m not really big on The Old Lady Who Swallowed a… books, but this dragon and his bloated belly are delightful. The rhymes are fun, the illustrations are great, and it’s a really nice bedtime story. And, as many of the best kid books do, it features a line about bodily functions. Burps, toots, and bathroom jokes are truly the way to a kid’s heart. I don’t make the rules, I just know what works, OK?
Dragons Only Eat Noodles on Tuesdays by Jon Stahl, Illustrated by Tadgh Bentley: This book starts with a blobby monster looking dude trying to tell you a story. But a cool story. About a dragon eating something/someone. Then a second monster dude is like “I see this situation going in a different creative direction” and comes up with another take on a dragon story. I mean, how does one keep a hungry dragon from eating oneself Easy. Just make sure it’s Tuesday before you go around pestering dragons, because dragons can ONLY eat NOODLES on Tuesdays. If you happen to encounter a dragon on a Wednesday? Watch out!
Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo: This book is so much fun! A pair of teachers set up a pen pal program without telling their students precisely who they are corresponding with. We soon learn that the dragon kids are writing notes to the human kids, but neither group is aware of it. Throughout the book you can see what George and Blaise imagine their newfound friend to be doing versus what they’re actually doing. I love how cheeky it is naming the human kid George (St. George having slayed the dragon and all) and Blaise being the name of a fire-breathing dragon. At the end of the book the kids all meet in person and everyone is kind of slack jawed at the, uh, species? of their pen pals, but it takes only seconds for them to start high fiving and hanging out. Kids are cool that way. This book is a lot of fun and it rhymes, so I’m a big fan.
There’s a Dragon in Your Book by Tom Fletcher- This one is part of a series of interactive stories with all manner of silly creatures taking up space in your books. The dragon one is delightful! First, you discover a dragon egg. Then you accidentally hatch it. Then you have to try and keep it from wreaking havoc on your book. Quite the adventure. At one point, you have to try to extinguish a flame the dragon accidentally started. You’re supposed to do this by imagining and popping a giant water balloon, but Sam prefers to conquer the fictional flames using his Transformer Heatwave (more than meets the eye- he’s half robot half fire truck.) but I appreciate his out-of-the-box thinking. If you’re looking for fun interactive books, this series is fabulous.
Dragons Love Tacos (and its sequel) by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri- I know I’ve mentioned these books before, but they’re a lot of fun and, well, Dragons. Though, beware that if you’re reading the sequel, you’ll probably end up with a very curious kiddo questioning the existence of time machines and taco trees. Explaining that taco trees are not, in fact, a thing took… A while. In all fairness, though, I was convinced that if given the proper chance, I could totally grow a lollipop tree when I was about Sam’s age. I took to sticking popsicle sticks in the mulch in our back yard and was CONVINCED I could see my trees sprouting because I saw the leftover dye from the popsicle on the end of the stick. I just googled as I’m pretty sure it came from a book and discovered that Burl Ives had a song and a book adaptation of said song- it sounds very much like what I imagined about lollipop trees, despite my not remembering it. In any case, I don’t recommend letting your kids attempt to plant tacos in your yard, so proceed with caution.
That’ll be it for me today, folks. I’ll be back with grown-up books soon!
(If you have a little buccaneer on your hands, don’t miss the listicle I wrote on kid-lit PIRATES.)
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