Our 6 Favorite Children’s Books About Dragons

My kid, like many others, loves imaginary creatures. Fairies are often his #1 pick, but dragons follow right behind. Dragons get more high-quality attention than fairies in children’s picture books, so it’s a bit easier to find good kids’ books about dragons. Here are our favorites! They’re so good I’d recommend them to an adult for a light enjoyable read, and they’re kid-tested as well.

(New to my blog? All my children’s book recommendations are here, or check out my children’s books Pinterest board. My book posts all use affiliate links, but check your local library too!)

Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light. If you’ve ever been to New York City, or you like art, you need to see this book! There isn’t much plot, because it’s pitched for very young readers, but my six-almost-seven year old got a kick out of finding the dragon’s hiding place on each page. I just couldn’t get over the amount of detail that Light put into each set of pages. I want to thank him and get him an ice pack for his drawing hand.

I try not to repeat books in this series too often, but Raising Dragons deserved a place in both Awesome Girls and Dragons. It’s by Jerdine Nolen with illustrations by Elise Primavera. Stole. My. Heart. Black girl magic at its finest. I wish more people knew about this book, but I think 18 year old picture books have a hard time making it to the “diverse books” lists? The narration sounds a little American rural without being overdone or stereotyped, and it’s just lovely to watch this gal’s “click” moment about her destiny when she discovers a dragon egg on her family farm. I also admire her quiet self-assurance and competence in her chosen vocation.

Eric Carle’s Dragons, Dragons, which is Eric Carle paintings illustrating excerpts from poetry by various authors. It’s sometimes hard to recall, when faced by the avalanche of Eric Carle merchandise, that it all started because he is a good artist. Pair his paintings of dragons and various other mythological monsters with poems about them, and Boy Detective was mesmerized. We had to buy the book, since it wasn’t practical to fly to his cousins’ house in Colorado to re-read it. I love poetry books for kids that don’t pull any punches, because the variety of language and structure is great for them and also refreshing for the grownups who read with them.

Emma’s Dragon Hunt, by Catherine Stock. This is a sweet, warm book about a young girl whose grandfather comes from China to live with her and her parents. When he first starts talking about dragons, Emma is frightened. But on their walks together, he teaches her more about the elusive dragons and their place in the world. It’s about dragons, but also a truly lovely grandparent-grandchild relationship.

The Dragon of an Ordinary Family by Margaret Mahy, with art by Helen Oxenbury. Mr. Belaski gets fed up with being ribbed by his family about how sensible and ordinary he is, and in his rebellion, he brings home a pet dragon. Which grows. And grows. Soon the neighbors are up in arms and the Belaskis are in need of a vacation as well as a solution to their dragon problem. Caution: there seem to be various covers and possibly other illustrated versions of this story, do look for the Oxenbury version.

The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama. This kiddo’s mom probably thought she was pretty clever, shutting down the constant requests for a pet by saying a pet dragon would be fine… if the kid could find one. Then he did. And it turns out dragons are terrible pets! Or are they? Loved this tale of an ingenious kid getting what he wants. (And Mama realizes it’s actually just fine.) The art is a modern homage to old-school picture book style, as if it’s set in the 50s, very cute.

And that’s the list! If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments – and thanks for sharing on social media or with friends!

22 thoughts on “Our 6 Favorite Children’s Books About Dragons

  1. Nikki @ MBAsahm

    My little one is just starting to like books and you’ve got me soooo excited to start reading to him!! I can’t wait until he’s old enough to understand story lines. And he’s going to be a dragon for Halloween!! :) thanks so much for these ideas. Pinned to come back to!

  2. Lindsay

    What a great list! We love dragon books! Our favorite is Saint George and the Dragon. If you’ve never read it, it’s wonderful!

  3. Skye

    Susan, we definitely need a dragon-drawing book next, good idea.

    Nikki, I hope you’re going to post pix!

    Sheila, glad I found some undiscovered treasures for ya. :)

    Lindsay, thanks for the rec, added it to our library queue.

  4. A.

    The drawings on ‘Have you seen my dragon!’.. wow they are so detailed.. I ‘d love to get that book just for the drawings.

  5. Skye

    Jennifer, it’s always great to get a picture book about a topic of interest for a grownup – it’s a great not-too-heavy gift idea!

  6. Jill @ Do Try This at Home

    And the Paper Bag Princess? Did it not make the list because it was more about the princess than the dragon? Or just too well known? Or these are better (I remember my now 19 year old ADORED Raising Dragons, and I really enjoyed it too!).

  7. Skye

    To be honest, I hadn’t even though of cross-listing The Paper Bag Princess here. I guess the dragon just seemed too incidental to me! It is a fabulous book and it’s in the princess post.

  8. Dragons Don't Wear Pants

    Being dragon lovers ourselves, we enjoyed your great list of dragon books here. As someone else mentioned, some are new to us and we can’t wait to read them. We are definitely sharing your list. Check out ours if you get a chance.

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