The first Saturday in May, Central Rappahannock Regional Library held its 7th annual CRRL-Con online. CRRL-Con is inspired by comics conventions where fans celebrate superheroes, science fiction, and fantasy. The library is continuing the fun by having CRRL-Con activities online all month long (librarypoint.org/CRRL-con, opens a new window). For children, this includes a Grow a Reader special that features stories and songs about dragons, goblins, and other fantasy creatures. Dragons are a particularly popular subject among young readers, from preschool through elementary school. Fortunately, dragon books for children abound, from picture books to engrossing chapter book series.
Picture books featuring dragons usually turn dragons and their adventures into comical characters, making these mythical creatures appropriate for the young reading audience.
Attack of the Underwear Dragon by Scott Rothman, illustrated by Pete Oswald
Cole has always dreamed of working with and assisting his favorite knight, Sir Percival. When Sir Percival receives Cole’s letter asking to be his assistant, it reminds him of his own boyhood, so Sir Percival makes Cole his assistant knight. Cole trains to fight with a sword, ride horseback, joust, and go into battle. Sir Percival’s biggest fear is an attack of the Underwear Dragon, and, when an attack comes, none of the knights are strong enough to defeat it. When the Underwear Dragon then comes for Cole, he uses all his training to fight the dragon and, with a little bit of luck, might be able to defeat it.
Dragons Eat Noodles on Tuesdays by Jon Stahl, illustrated by Tadgh Bentley
When the storyteller begins a frightful story about a dragon, a friend points out that “no one wants a story about dragons eating people.” The two friends work together to create a dragon story that doesn’t end badly with someone being eaten. When a dragon wanders up and threatens to eat them as they work on their story, the friends think they have the perfect solution to their dilemma and know just how it will turn out.
Children who are beginning to read on their own and are looking for short chapter books with engaging illustrations also have some great dragon book options.
Dragon Masters series, opens a new window by Tracey West - #1 - Rise of the Earth Dragon, opens a new window
Dragon Masters is part of Scholastic’s Branches line of books, which is specifically created for children who are developing their reading skills and are ready to move beyond leveled readers but not quite ready yet for full-fledged chapter books. In Dragon Masters, young friends Drake, Ana, Rori, and Bo train to be Dragon Masters, which includes learning how to connect with their dragons and uncovering their special powers. Throughout the series, the friends and their dragons solve mysteries, have adventures, and work together to become the best Dragon Masters they can be.
Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly series by Jordan Quinn - #1 - The Coldfire Curse, opens a new window
The Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly series focuses on Ruskin, a favorite character from Quinn’s Kingdom of Wrenly series. Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly is a new graphic novel series that follows Ruskin the scarlet dragon and his friends on exciting quests and challenging adventures as they deepen their friendship and meet the challenges that face them.
There are excellent chapter book series centered on dragons for readers who are ready for more complex storylines.
Dragonwatch series, opens a new window by Brandon Mull - #1 - Dragonwatch
Mull’s Dragonwatch series is a follow-up to his popular Fablehaven series. In Dragonwatch, restless dragons, who see the dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost as a prison, plot to break free. It’s not just them. Dragons in other sanctuaries are also revolting, and it is up to siblings Kendra and Seth to use their dragon taming skills to circumvent the dragons’ plan to return the world to the Age of Dragons.
Wings of Fire series, opens a new window by Tui Sutherland - #1 - The Dragonet Prophecy
This bestselling series is for serious fans of mythical creatures. Wings of Fire follows a large cast of dragon characters in seven dragon tribes which have been battling each other for generations. Dramatic battles, political scheming, and backstabbing mean that no one is safe. There are currently fourteen books in this epic original series, with more planned. Wings of Fire is also available in a graphic novel series, opens a new window, with the first four books in the series currently available.
Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.