I’m delighted to welcome Sofi Croft to the blog today on the last day of the ‘Indigo’s Dragon’ blog tour for a guest post on her favourite dragons in children’s books. ‘Indigo’s Dragon’ is a new fantasy series full of adventure, mystery, monsters and dragons and is available to buy now.
My Favourite Dragons in Children’s Books
- ‘Dragon’ in Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
My 9 year old daughter and I both adore this book. Dragon is a friendly oriental dragon that accompanies Minli on a wonderful fantasy adventure. Many Chinese folktales are woven into the story, including how Dragon was born from a painting, the dragon’s pearl, and the dragon gate. This is a truly beautiful book, full of magical tales, gentle wisdom and gorgeous illustrations.
- Eustace Scrubb in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S.Lewis
Narnia is a childhood favourite of mine, and my children love the books just as much as I do. Eustace Scrubb’s transformation into a dragon in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a highlight of the series for me, and although Eustace’s time as a dragon is short lived it is incredibly memorable. This was my first encounter with the idea that a human could transform into a dragon and it completely captivated me.
- Kazul in Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles are entertaining, addictive reads. Kazul is a brilliant dragon; powerful and dangerous, but intelligent and reasonable. She employs the Princess Cimorene, who has run away to escape boredom and the prospect of marriage, as a cook, housekeeper, and to inventory her treasure. Kazul lives on a mountain with many other dragons, all with different personalities, and one of the things I love about this book is the dragon politics. There is a strong heroine in Cimorene, evil wizards, good witches, magic, a fast paced story, plenty of humour, and a strong message of bravery and courage to follow your own path.
- Smaug in The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
The Hobbit has been one of my favourite books ever since I read it as a child. Smaug both terrified and fascinated me in equal measure. He is like the dragons from fairy tales and legends – fearsome, greedy and ruthless – but he is also intelligent, cunning and hypnotic. I remember my blood pounding as I sneaked into his lair with Bilbo, and holding my breath in fearful anticipation during Bilbo’s conversations with Smaug.
- Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
This is a fantastic series full of humour, action and adventure, and a great variety of dragon species with totally brilliant names and traits. The books have very different storylines to the movies, and it is well worth reading how Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third learns to train the tiny but fiercely independent Toothless.
- Norbert(a) the Norwegian Ridgeback in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K.Rowling
My children and I had so much fun reading about Hagrid’s difficulties raising a dragon. Although Norberta plays quite a small role in the book, she serves as a great introduction to dragons in the wizarding world. Dragons in the series are portrayed as impressive, dangerous beasts. I love the fact there are a variety of species, dragonologists who study them, and dragon dealers, who illegally trade in dragon goods.
- The Last Dragon by Ian Larmont, in Dragon Poems by John Foster and Korky Paul
‘Beneath a high mountain, Inside a dark cave, A crusty old dragon, As cold as the grave.’
I love all the poems in this collection. It is a wonderful celebration of dragonish poetry which includes funny, sad, silly and mildly scary poems, all illustrated by the brilliant Korky Paul. (While I’m talking poetry dragons I should also mention the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, who is absolutely the best dragon for talking nonsense with.)
- The Dragon of Pendor in A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Earthsea books are classic high fantasy, set a richly imagined world full of magic and spirituality. The series follows Ged, a young boy, on his journey to becoming a great wizard. The Dragon of Pendor is the first dragon he encounters, and is powerful, clever and proud. The dragons of Earthsea show characteristics of dragons from both western and eastern mythology; they are ancient and terrifying, but also full of magic and wisdom.
- Saphira in Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Saphira is beautiful, wise, proud and fiercely loyal. Eragon, a farm boy, telepathically bonds with her when she hatches out of an egg. He raises her and eventually becomes a great dragon rider who battles monsters and evil magicians. Eragon and the other books in The Inheritance Cycle are great for fans of epic high fantasy but are not for the faint hearted. The books are full of adventure, wonder, danger, magic, brutal conflicts, and war.
- ‘Worm’ in No Such Thing as Dragons by Philip Reeve
I love how realistic the dragon (called worm by the dragon slayer) is in this book. Part bird, part reptile, it is a fierce predator I imagine as a prehistoric beast that has remained hidden in the mountains for centuries. This adventure story follows Ansel, a nine year old mute boy, who has been sold to Johannes Brock, a dragon slayer. Brock is a charlatan who doesn’t really believe in dragons, but when he finds a girl called Else in the mountains, left as an offering to the dragon, he is forced to re-evaluate his beliefs. This book has descriptive language, beautiful scenery, interesting characters and an action packed climax.
- The dragon in The Paper Bag Princessby Robert N. Munsch
There are plenty of gorgeous picture books featuring dragons, but I think this one is my favourite. The dragon is a fierce, fire breathing force to be reckoned with, but is outwitted by the paper bag princess, who saves the prince and skips off into the sunset alone. I love the non-traditional gender roles and the unexpected ending.
- The Dragons of Wayward Crescent by Chris d’Lacy
This is a fun series of short illustrated chapter books. The dragons are friendly and small, created from clay and magically brought to life. Each book features a different dragon, and each dragon has a special talent and role within the household. The stories are humorous and entertaining with positive messages. The dragons from this series also feature in The Last Dragon Chronicles, another great series of slightly longer books by the same author.
You can find out more about Sofi by visiting her website or you can follow her on Twitter @croftdragon or on Facebook.
In case you missed the rest of the blog tour you can still join in and read more reviews and fantastic guest posts.