Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book 122: The Reluctant Dragon

The Reluctant Dragon, written by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, Holiday House 1938.  (Elementary)

"Read to Your Dragon" month is drawing to a close, so I decided to review The Reluctant Dragon.  Kenneth Grahame, best known for writing The Wind in the Willows, wrote this book.  Ernest H. Shepard, best known for illustrating Winnie-The-Pooh, illustrated this book.  With a winning team like that, it is no surprise that this well-loved book has become a classic.

The plot of this story is straightforward enough:  A dragon moves into a cave near a village.  The villagers want the dragon gone.  The villagers hire a knight to fight the dragon.  But there are such delightful twists and turns along the way it is easy to forget that the plot is straightforward.  For example, the dragon is not a killing dragon; he is a poetry reading dragon.  And the knight that is hired is none other than St. George.  The knight and the dragon do fight and the conclusion is most satisfactory.

The illustrations, as all good illustrations do, illuminate the text, add charm and character.  Created by Shepard's deft hands, they are nothing short of perfection.

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