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BOOK REVIEWS, Early/Young Readers, Fantasy, Read-Aloud Suggestions, Teacher & Parent Recommendations

MY DAD THE DRAGON by Jackie French

My Dad the Dragon is a fun, easy romp of a read for young or beginning readers.  The story takes place in the court of King Arthur.  The main character is Horace, a young boy in Knight School.  His teacher, Sir Sneazle, assigns each boy in the class a specific disastrous homework assignment, designed to be an impossible challenge.   Sir Sneazle tells them that King Arthur is coming to visit the Knight School and if they do not bring in their completed homework they will be expelled.

More than anything Horace wants to be a Knight of the Round Table but Horace’s assignment is to return to school with a dead dragon.  Horace’s father is passionate about dragons and often pretends to be one.  Horace does not know how he is going to accomplish his task.

Although worried about accomplishing his own task, Horace gathers his friends to discuss how they can help each other succeed with their individual homework assignments.  They enlist the aid of Horace’s sister, Grub–an intelligent and imaginative inventor who is not allowed to go to school because she is a girl–and Horace’s mother, a sorceress whose spells often have unexpected results.

The characters are delightful and quirky.  The story is well-paced, funny and sweet with a dash of adventure.  The way in which Horace solves his problem is not entirely unexpected but it is believeable and takes a brief unexpected twist at the end.

My children and I used this as a bedtime story selection and we had a blast reading it together!  We laughed a lot and liked the ending very much.  This is a terrific independent read choice as an easy chapter book. It would also be a fantastic read-aloud at bedtime or in a 1st or 2nd Grade classroom.  Teachers could also use it as a companion to any lessons about dragons, fantasy, King Arthur, knights, the Round Table, etc.


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