Kumon Staff Pick: My Father’s Dragon
RRL Title: My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Readers between 3rd and 5th grade
Why do you personally enjoy this book?
My Father’s Dragon is a fantastic tale that, although it sounds as if it might be scary, is actually quite comical and up-lifting. The illustrations are beautifully done, especially the map inside the cover, and help to make the story seem more real. This novel was cited as a Newbery Honor Book in 1949.
Why do you think students would enjoy this book?
This is the tale of Elmer Elevator, as told by his son, and his brave rescue of a baby dragon. When Elmer was a young boy he had a dream of flying. On a tip from an old alley cat, he sets off on a mission to rescue a baby dragon from the inhabitants of the town of Cranberry in hopes of flying the dragon. The characters are dangerous animals, that happen to talk, and Elmer must outwit them all in order to reach the baby dragon. Elmer uses things like chewing gum and lollipops, again on advice from the cat, to escape the wrath of the animals he encounters along the way. The final escape is as heart-warming as it is witty. Students who enjoy fantasy stories will like it for sure.
What skills and/or values might students gain by reading this book?
Students that are interested in adventure will surely relate to Elmer’s creative problem-solving throughout the story. Coming to the aid of those in need is one key value expressed in the story, and students will also see the importance of sticking to it until you accomplish what you set out to do.