A mouse insists that this book is not about dragons, despite a lot of signs showing the opposite.
For some reason, children are fascinated by dragons. Maybe it is the mystery of a creature that only fantasy can bring to life or the fascination of a fairy-tale where good conquers bad. In the stories, dragons are sometimes good and sometimes very, very bad. Whatever the reason, dragon stories help children imagine and develop their creative thinking. One of the more interesting predictors of becoming a “good reader” relates to how well a child can engage in the make-believe of a story. Most good readers have highly developed skills for mentally putting themselves into a story and creating that world in their imagination. To support this end, I want to share my favorite dragon stories for young children age 3 to 7.
For those of you that may like to read books that cause children to yell, scream and interact with a book in a lively manner, I have a book for you. This Book is NOT About Dragons by Shelley More Thomas is my favorite interactive book since the New York Times bestseller, The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak published in 2014. A mouse begins narrating his story that is NOT about dragons, but the illustrations keep showing evidence of dragons. Young children quickly catch on that there are dragons hiding out on every page.
I warn you that this may result in lots of excited yelling and pointing by children as the mouse (and the reader) ignore the clear evidence of dragons. Dragons making shadows, dragons behind trees and dragons breathing fire are taking over the pages of this book until the mouse (and the reader) cannot ignore the dragons any longer. This book is all about fun; it is not a “sit quietly” type of book. The pictures are bright and colorful with interesting textures to the enhance the digitally generated graphics. Expect to read it over and over again.
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin is another amazing dragon story. It is always fun to have dragons in a story but dragons that also love tacos, takes it to the next level. In this story we learn that dragons love tacos but hate spicy salsa. If you want to make friends with dragons, host a taco party, but of course be careful of the spicy salsa. Did you read the salsa bottle carefully? Oh, no you didn’t! As you might imagine, bad things happen when the dragons accidently eat the spicy salsa.
Children absolutely think this story is hilarious. It is the perfect book for a Tuesday Taco Night with the family. The story is fantastic, but the quirky illustrations by Daniel Salmieri bring the characters to life. The kid and the dog have spaghetti arms and legs and very cartoon like faces. The watercolor splatter of the background draws the eye to the rainbow of dragons and the taco ingredients. Dragons Love Tacos will soon be a family favorite. Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel will be published May 2, 2017 and I can’t wait to read the latest challenges of the taco-loving dragons.
The last book I want to share with you doesn’t sound like a dragon book. The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino tells the story of a little crocodile who can’t figure out why he is different from his brothers and sisters. He doesn’t like water and they loved swimming, playing and diving into the water. The poor little crocodile wants so much to play with someone he saved up his tooth fairy money to buy a swim ring. He tries to join his brothers and sisters in the water but that doesn’t go so well. It is a good thing his brothers and sisters come to the rescue. Suddenly, his nose begins to tickle and tickle until he let out a gigantic sneeze. What happens next finally help him understand why he doesn’t like water.
The charm of this story is the way handles “feeling different.” The little crocodile likes to do things differently than his brothers and sisters. He feels different but he finally finds out that he really is different from his brothers and sisters; and that this is a good thing. Young children may also wonder why they feel different from other kids, but it may be hard for them to understand this feeling. Sometimes it is as simple as not wanting to play the same thing, or liking different kinds of foods. This story shares the message that it is OK to be different, and sometimes being different can be an amazing thing. The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water is a very heartwarming story that your children will love.
Hopefully, these beloved dragon stories will be just right for your children but if you need a few more, consider checking out the following:
Dragon was Terrible by Kelly Dipucchio
Evermore Dragon by Barbara Joosse
Again by Emily Gravett
Dragon’s Extraordinary Egg by Debi Gliori
This post is definitely about dragons!