My Father’s Dragon

Ruth Stiles Gannett illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett


Screen Shot 2019-02-11 at 11.24.06 PM.pngI am revisiting one of my favorite childhood reads. My Father’s Dragon is the first book in a series of three: My Father’s Dragon, Elmer and the Dragon, The Dragons of Blueland. 

If you have not read My Father’s Dragon, know it is a children’s read. There are pictures on almost every page, the chapters are short, and the story is enchanting. My Father’s Dragon was published in 1948 so it is a tad dated.

Elmer, who is referred to as “my father” by the narrator, runs away from home to Wild Island in hopes of seeing a dragon. He is guided by a cat and together they tackle Wild Island looking for a dragon. Elmer runs into interesting animals, see the lion on the cover, who have outlandish demands. It is a lighthearted read and the illustrations have a charm that adds to the story.

Screen Shot 2019-02-11 at 11.22.44 PM

The story is fun but my favorite part of this book is the illustrations! There is a magic quality to every picture you almost don’t even need to read the words to know what is happening.

My Father’s Dragon ends sweetly not really leaving the reader wanting more. You could stop reading here, or continue on to the next two books: Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland. For the 50th anniversary of the sereis, all three books were published as one under the title Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon. I do not have this copy but plan on adding it to my library soon.

Once you have read My Father’s Dragon you can’t help but wonder if there is an animated adaptation out there. There is! Elmer’s Adventure: My Father’s Dragon (1997) is an anime film, I can’t find an English subbed/dubbed version. Netflix announced they will be released a new animated version in 2021. I am excited to see a fresh take on the story!


I have a physical copy I thumb through, but if you are interested in reading My Father’s Dragon, you can do so here: free ebook version.


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