“Celebrate a Dragon Day” is January 16th! We <3 Dragons!
Today is January 16th, and things are about to get very ferocious, very fantastical, and very, very fun because today is “National Celebrate a Dragon Day”!!!
Dragons add another dimension to stories, often an other-worldly element. They add heart-wrenching excitement, bravery, and what we’ve come to see as a whole lot of heart. So it’s no wonder that these creatures attract readers of all types, from young boys and girls to adult fantasy-lovers. But to really explain it best, we’ve invited the great Kate Klimo, author of the much-loved Dragon Keepers series to explain the origins of her dragon-love and a hypothesis as to why these creatures have reached the hearts of countless others. -Bobbie
Ever since I can remember, dragons have held a special place in my heart. It was C.S. Lewis who made me first fall in love with dragons when I was in the fourth grade. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, on the second island the children visit, the disagreeable Cousin Eustace finds his way into a dragon’s abandoned lair. He hoards the dragon’s gold, puts on a golden armband, and falls asleep, only to wake with the band pinching an arm that has turned green and scaly and huge. He has turned into a dragon! Oh, the misery! I still remember the illustration of Eustace-as-dragon standing by a pool, head raised to the heavens, weeping his heart out. It is as a dragon that Eustace realizes the error of his ways and sets out to make amends for his past despicable behavior. The other dragon-of-my-heart is Kenneth Grahame’s Reluctant Dragon, star of one of the stories in his wonderful collection, Dream Days. In it a boy makes friends with a sweet and very literate dragon. When the townsfolk send St. George to slay the dragon, the boy intervenes and introduces the two arch enemies. St. George and the dragon become fast friends. Townsfolk and dragon live in peace and harmony ever after. I have always embraced the idea that dragons, while perhaps physically intimidating, are basically good-hearted beings.In my Dragon Keeper books, I hope I have created in Emerald a dragon not only wise to the dangers of the St George’s of this world, but also thoroughly lovable. — Kate Klimo
We agree, Kate! Let’s celebrate. Check out some of the many Dragon books that Random House Children’s Books has to offer!
There’s No Such Thing As a Dragon! by Jack Kent (Golden Books)
When Billy Bixbee finds a tiny dragon in his bedroom, his mom tells him, “There’s no such thing as a dragon!” This only makes the dragon get bigger. He grows, and grows, and grows, until he’s bigger than Billy’s house—and that’s just the beginning!
A Poor Excuse for a Dragon by Geoffrey Hayes (Random House BFYR)
“Part-slapstick, part-fairy tale, the gently humorous plot has enough twists and turns to keep newly independent readers engaged.”—School Library Journal
Fred the dragon has a list of tasks he must complete in order to be a successful dragon—none of which comes naturally. But he’s determined to make #5—eat people—work. Before you can say “pass the salt” he’s gobbled up three people even though he doesn’t have the stomach for it. Luckily a local shepherd, with the help of a giant and a witch, knows how to cure what ails him and get those pesky people out of his belly. It’s happily-ever-after for everyone in ways you’d never expect.
Dragon Keepers #1: The Dragon in the Sock Drawer by Kate Klimo (Random House BFYR)
“Dragon in the Sock Drawer is funny and wonderfully written–a tall tale adventure that will surely grab young readers.” –Mary Pope Osborne
Look out for the paper edition of The Dragon in the Sea (#5) this May, and the next in the series, The Dragon at the North Pole (#6) goes on sale this fall!
Ten-year-old cousins Jesse and Daisy have always wanted something magical to happen to them. So it’s a wish come true when Jesse’s newly found thunder egg hatches and a helpless, tiny, but very loud, baby dragon pops out. Soon the two kids are at the dragon’s beck and call, trying to figure out what to feed her. An Internet search leads them to the library, which leads them back to the Internet, where they find a very strange Web site called foundadragon.org. Here the cousins discover that the dragon’s hatching has designated them “Dragon Keepers.” Not only do they have to feed the dragon, whom they named Emmy, but they also have to keep her safe from the villainous Saint George, who has kept himself alive over centuries by drinking dragons’ blood!
Magicalamity by Kate Saunders (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
A Fun Fantasy for Middle Grade readers!
Tom is in shock. He’s just discovered that his dad is an escaped fairy on the run. And that he must trust his life to three dangerous fairy godmothers he’s never met. Two of them are hardened criminals, and one falls out of the window when she tries to fly . . .
Will their mad magic be enough to help Tom rescue his dad from the clutches of some killer fairies?
Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Knopf BFYR)
2013 Is the tenth anniversary of this modern classic—the first book in Christopher Paolini’s beloved Inheritance series!
Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Rachel Hartman’s debut was acknowledged with 8 starred reviews; a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, Indie Bestseller list, and countless Best of 2012 lists; and received accolades from writers such as Tamora Pierce and Christopher Paolini. This isn’t any ordinary dragon book.
In Seraphina, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, “Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.”
Thanks for joining us today at Random Acts of Reading! Please share your favorite dragon titles in our comments section