While it’s essentially meant for children, there are plenty of adults who will find it irresistible enough to peek into and a most charming way to spend a magical hour.
Beautifully illustrated by the enormously talented Harold Robert Millar, the Scottish designer and illustrator famed for his unique and imaginative illustrations, The Book of Dragons is sure to delight both first time readers of the unique writer Edith Nesbit and those who have found pleasure in her other works.
Published at the turn of the twentieth century, the book received great acclaim from both parents and children. Some of the tales are set in contemporary urban England, while others belong in more traditional Dragon Country, swathed in mists and moody climes.
For present-day children, steeped as they are in popular novels by JK Rowling and the Artemis Fowl series, The Book of Dragons would be familiar territory.
Not all the dragons are fire breathing monsters. Some of them have delightfully human traits. They have wonderfully different personalities, appearances and behavior.
There are eight separate stories in all. Uncle James or The Purple Stranger portrays a kingdom where traditionally small creatures like rabbits grow to enormous size while elephants stay miniature!
The Book of Beasts is about a magical book that transports its illustrated creatures into the real world when the book is opened. The Dragon Tamers is a fantasy about a poor blacksmith, his son and a mysterious dungeon. Kind Little Edmund is a cautionary tale for curious and inquisitive people whose habits lead them into misadventures.
Disobedient children are similarly warned by The Ice Dragon or Do As You Are Told a stringent tale of two naughty children who find themselves in the North Pole in the company of an awesome and gorgeous ice dragon.
The book is sure to appeal to young readers who will enjoy as an audiobook, children who love to explore the contents of the book for themselves and parents too.
The writer’s focus on humanity, compassion, humor and the magical and imaginative world of children makes The Book of Dragons a wonderful gift that will be cherished by children for years to come.
Her vivid descriptions, engaging and easy style, the warmth and humor all make it a definite must read for all ages.