children, fantasy

The Reluctant Dragon (75th Anniversary Edition)

The Reluctant Dragon
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Illustrator: Ernest H. Shepard
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2820-5 (hardcover),  978-0-8234-2821-2 (paperback)
Price: $16.95 (hardcover),  $6.95 (paperback)

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A Boy discovers a dragon is living in the cave when his father comes home upset by such a notion. Not being afraid (because he has read all about dragons), the Boy makes his acquaintance, and the two become fast friends. The Boy likes to read, and the dragon is a poet and story-teller. But the town folk are not happy to have a dragon – even a mild-tempered one – living in such close proximity, and they bring in St. George to slay him.

The Boy must step in and right the situation before it gets out of control. Acting as mediator and organizer, he brings the dragon and St. George together before the battle to draw up a plan. And in the end, everyone, including the dragon, is happy with the results.

The Reluctant Dragon was first published in 1938. This unusual story is part fantasy and part humor, in the unusual interactions between man and beast. Children will cheer at the Boy’s cleverness in saving a situation that could easily have gone horribly wrong. This 75th anniversary edition brings this timeless classic back into print for all ages to enjoy.

Reviewer: Alice Berger