Sunday, March 09, 2008
Elmer and the Dragon
Gannett, Ruth Stiles. 1950. Elmer and the Dragon.
The second in the trilogy, Elmer and the Dragon was originally published in 1950. The narrative opens with Elmer and his new dragon friend, Boris, on their way. The dragon has agreed to fly the boy home as a way of showing his gratitude for the boy freeing him. "Into the evening sky flew Elmer Elevator aboard the gentle baby dragon, leaving Wild Island behind forever." But finding their way home isn't as easy as it might first seem. The dragon, a baby dragon, and a dragon that has spent most of his time in captivity doesn't know where the boy's home is. And the boy doesn't know either. Not really. He came to these islands on a ship, but he spent his time below hiding. So it's not like he was paying attention to the directions they were sailing, etc. So the two must search for the way home. Along the way, more adventures are had.
If I'm being honest, this book lacks some of the magic that made My Father's Dragon so enjoyable. But maybe this is because I'm an adult. Maybe kids who loved the first one will be just as eager to have the adventures continue? It would be interesting to see. I know my sister has used My Father's Dragon as a read aloud to her first graders in the past. But she felt--as I feel--that the second book was lacking a little something.