Thursday, November 1, 2012

Three Tales of My Father's Dragon

We recently drove out to a pumpkin patch to gather some pumpkins for Halloween carving.  With a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and stalks of popcorn, it was a huge hit.  My kids have been enthralled with placing a stalk of popcorn in a paper bag and sticking the bag in the microwave, only to remove an empty stalk and bag full of popcorn.  And truthfully, I have been equally enthralled.

The farm we went to was very fun but was also a fair drive from our home so we brought the audio version of Three Tales of My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett with us to aid in the passing of time.  And pass the time it did.  We listened there and back and my kids insisted on bringing the cd in the house to finish it when we got home.

Originally published in 1948, My Father's Dragon was a Newbery Honor book.  Gannett published two subsequent novels about Elmer Elevator - Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland - and these three stories are compiled into the commemorative edition Three Tales of My Father's Dragon.

The son of Elmer Elevator is the narrator who tells of his father's adventures traveling to the Island of Tangerina, on to Wild Island and back home again.  In the first story Elmer sets off to find and free a Dragon, the second to return Elmer home and in the third Boris, the dragon, sets off to Blueland to be reunited with his family.

All three of the stories are a great introduction to fantasy tales for a younger audience.  And while I enjoyed listening to all three -  I must say the first was my favorite.  Elmer sets off on his adventure with a knapsack filled with: "chewing gum, two dozen pink lollipops, a package of rubber bands, black rubber boots, a compass, a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste, six magnifying glasses, a very sharp jackknife, a comb and a hairbrush, seven hair ribbons of different colors, an empty grain bag with a label saying "Cranberry," some clean clothes, and enough food to last my father while he was on the ship."

With a list that specific I expected something to come of it - and it did not disappoint.  Each item was cleverly used.  I loved the audio version of this and would highly recommend it.  I have not doubt it would also be fun to read aloud.

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