Did you know that April 23rd is St. George’s day? He is the patron saint of England who slayed a dragon. Read some history on this for fun but then read some of the tales about this Saint as told in The Reluctant Dragon. The story of the gentle dragon is a passed down treasure from when it was first written in 1898, By Kenneth Grahame.
I recently read a new version of The Reluctant Dragon in a chapter book form. It is called Kenny and the Dragon. I did not know this was a passed down tale until finishing and we made the connection with another picture book of ours retold by Robert D. San Souci. What was interesting is that my son made the connection with the name of the original author and the characters in the story. The main character is Kenny a rabbit in the medieval countryside. The very scholarly, poetic, and proper dragon was named Graham. We loved this connection and it made us want to know more about the tale that started it all.
Kenny and the Dragon, is written by Tony DiTerlizzi (co-author of the Spiderwick Chronicles) This is a great quick read and a nice read-a-loud. We did both. My 3rd grader had to read it quickly after we started the first chapter and my other two (7 and 4) kept asking for more each evening. It is great to find a book that keeps so many listening ears. I like how the author brought the family life and support into the story. It is not something that you see too often. This really is a book for the whole family. From Kenny the sincere and ultimately brave rabbit to the librarian (St George) who defends the king and works for the people, to the mother who shares a good meal, and of course a most enchanting chance to meet up with a friendly dragon makes for a read that is true to what we hope can happen in times of war, a peaceful ending.
Hail to St. George! Hail to Kenneth Grahame! Hail to Toni DiTerlizzi!