Three Tales of My Father's Dragon: My Father's Dragon, Elmer and the Dragon, The Dragons of Blueland

Three Tales of My Father's Dragon: My Father's Dragon, Elmer and the Dragon, The Dragons of Blueland


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The classic fantasy trilogy of Elmer Elevator and the flying baby dragon has delighted children and their parents for generations. Now, on the occasion of their fiftieth anniversary, Random House is proud to bring the three timeless tales together in one beautiful commemorative edition, complete with the original delightful illustrations.  A Newbery Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book, My Father's Dragon is followed by Elmer and the Dragon ("rich, humorous, and thoroughly satisfying"*) and The Dragons of Blueland ("ingenious and plausible, the fantasy well-sustained"*).  Each story stands alone, but read in succession, they are an unforgettable experience.*Library Journal, starred review            

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679889113
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 11/28/1997
Series: My Father's Dragon Series
Edition description: Anniversary
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 31,505
Product dimensions: 6.44(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Ruth Stiles Gannett wrote My Father's Dragon just a few years after her graduation from Vassar College in 1944. It was an immediate success, becoming a Newbery Honor Book, and was soon followed by two sequels, Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland. All three dragon stories have been continuously in print in the more than 40 years since their publication. The author’s other books include Katie and the Sad Noise and The Wonderful House-Boat-Train. She is married to the artist and calligrapher Peter Kahn. They have seven daughters and seven grandchildren. Visit her online at

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Two


Wild Island is practically cut in two by a very wide and muddy river," continued the cat. "This river begins near one end of the island and flows into the ocean at the other. Now the animals there are very lazy, and they used to hate having to go all the way around the beginning of this river to get to the other side of the island. It made visiting inconvenient and mail deliveries slow, particularly during the Christmas rush. Crocodiles could have carried passengers and mail across the river, but crocodiles are very moody, and not the least bit dependable, and are always looking for something to eat. They don't care if the animals have to walk around the river, so that's just what the animals did for many years."

"But what does all this have to do with airplanes?" asked my father, who thought the cat was taking an awfully long time to explain.

"Be patient, Elmer," said the cat, and she went on with the story. "One day about four months before I arrived on Wild Island a baby dragon fell from a low-flying cloud onto the bank of the river. He was too young to fly very well, and besides, he had bruised one wing quite badly, so he couldn't get back to his cloud. The animals found him soon afterwards and everybody said, 'Why, this is just exactly what we've needed all these years!' They tied a big rope around his neck and waited for the wing to get well. This was going to end all their crossing-the-river troubles."

"I've never seen a dragon," said my father. "Did you see him? How big is he?"

"Oh, yes, indeed I saw the dragon. In fact, we became great friends," said the cat. "I used to hide in the bushes and talk to him when nobody was around. He's not a very big dragon, about the size of a large black bear, although I imagine he's grown quite a bit since I left. He's got a long tail and yellow and blue stripes. His horn and eyes and the bottoms of his feet are bright red, and he has gold-colored wings."

"Oh, how wonderful!" said my father. "What did the animals do with him when his wing got well?"

"They started training him to carry passengers, and even though he is just a baby dragon, they work him all day and all night too sometimes. They make him carry loads that are much too heavy, and if he complains, they twist his wings and beat him. He's always tied to a stake on a rope just long enough to go across the river. His only friends are the crocodiles, who say 'Hello' to him once a week if they don't forget. Really, he's the most miserable animal I've ever come across. When I left I promised I'd try to help him someday, although I couldn't see how. The rope around his neck is about the biggest, toughest rope you can imagine, with so many knots it would take days to untie them all.

"Anyway, when you were talking about airplanes, you gave me a good idea. Now, I'm quite sure that if you were able to rescue the dragon, which wouldn't be the least bit easy, he'd let you ride him most anywhere, provided you were nice to him, of course. How about trying it?"

"Oh, I'd love to," said my father, and he was so angry at his mother for being rude to the cat that he didn't feel the least bit sad about running away from home for a while.

That very afternoon my father and the cat went down to the docks to see about ships going to the Island of Tangerina. They found out that a ship would be sailing the next week, so right away they started planning for the rescue of the dragon. The cat was a great help in suggesting things for my father to take with him, and she told him everything she knew about Wild Island. Of course, she was too old to go along.

Everything had to be kept very secret, so when they found or bought anything to take on the trip they hid it behind a rock in the park. The night before my father sailed he borrowed his father's knapsack and he and the cat packed everything very carefully. He took chewing gum, two dozen pink lollipops, a package of rubber bands, black rubber boots, a compass, a toothbrush and a tube of tooth paste, six magnifying glasses, a very sharp jackknife, a comb and a hairbrush, seven hair ribbons of different colors, an empty grain bag with a label saying "Cranberry," some clean clothes, and enough food to last my father while he was on the ship. He couldn't live on mice, so he took twenty-five peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and six apples, because that's all the apples he could find in the pantry.

When everything was packed my father and the cat went down to the docks to the ship. A night watchman was on duty, so while the cat made loud queer noises to distract his attention, my father ran over the gangplank onto the ship. He went down into the hold and hid among some bags of wheat. The ship sailed early the next morning.

Excerpt from THREE TALES OF MY FATHER'S DRAGON by Ruth Stiles Gannett. Copyright © by Ruth Stiles Gannett. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

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Three Tales of My Father's Dragon 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
ottsinca More than 1 year ago
Elmer uses his creative mind & cleverness to adapt & escape from many harrowing adventures. All without harming anyone or any creature. Great character lessons. We give this as gifts for most birthdays - boys and girls. Exciting to find a story featuring a boy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Books every boy should read!
Badger79 More than 1 year ago
We read this while in Florida on vacation--my 4 1/2 year old granddaughter, Emma, and I and it brought such joy and laughter!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best books i ever read!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is so interesting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My school librarian sugested them to me and i instantly fell in love! I didnt ever want them to end!!!! Definetly a MUST READ!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Both my boys were read this by their kindergarden teacher and it still remains a favorite. It is a wonderful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bet it is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 5 year old son and I enjoyed reading these books together. We would read a chapter or two each evening, and I found myself looking forward to the next chapter as much as he did. Full of adventure and the maps inside the cover help to chart your way through the story!
MeggiEmarf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is the first actual chapter book I remember reading. It was my absolute favorite. I could read it over and over again. Today it is still one of my favorites.
woodge on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Over a period of six nights, I read these tales aloud to my six-year-old son, Luke, and three-year-old daughter, Kajsa. Last night after finishing the book I asked Luke if he enjoyed the stories. "I loved it," said Luke. (Meanwhile, Kajsa got far too squirmy to pay much attention after the first 10 minutes of any story). Luke ate it up though. The first of these three tales was published back in 1948! They concern the adventures of a young boy named Elmer Elevator and a baby dragon that he rescues in the first tale. Cute, light-weight stuff with a few illustrations sprinkled throughout. The end papers of the book are two different maps of the story¿s environs. Luke wants to make his own maps now.
cacv78 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gannet, Ruth Stiles (1998) Three Tales of My Father's Dragon. Illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannet. New York: Random House.The books holds 3 tales originally published separately but put together for the anniversary of the original story written in 1948. These three stories follow Elmer Elevator and a baby flying dragon named Boris. The fantasy elements of this story include the flying dragon and how Boris goes off to try to rescue him from an island. The author makes this story believable by first beginning with normal, believable idea of Elmer's father finding a cat. He goes on to run away to an island where he see's a dragon. This plot is very original and it is consistent as Elmer goes on to interact with his father's dragon. The three stories are all intertwined and continue the fantasy element in the same way. The ending also provides a good sense of closure and it grounds the story back to reality.
rfewell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading this one with Q and Lu before bed...We read about 1 and a half of the 3 books in this collection. My Father's Dragon was a fun book with lots of little adventures with animals. They got bored with the second story, so we stopped reading...
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
All three of the books about Elmer's adventures with the dragon. While the first is the best, all of them are still fun and make great early chapter books, read alouds, or both.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all 3 of them and they all are really good books. :)
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