Most kids go through a dragon phase, riding friendly dragons, slaying fierce dragons, even pretending to be dragons (friendly and fierce!). It's understandable; dragons are enchanting and powerful! They allow children to escape to an imaginary world of fantasy and magic. If your child is in the midst of a dragon obsession then these dragon books for kids, featuring both western and eastern dragon representations, are just the thing to spark the imagination.
Note: this list contains Amazon and Bookshop affiliate links. Purchases made through these links may earn a commission for this blog. Bookshop also supports independent bookstores.
KING ARTHUR'S VERY GREAT-GRANDSON by Kenneth Kraegel
This is a wonderful twist on the knight adventure story. Young Henry Alfred Grummorson sets out to slay a few beasts and meets some very formidable creatures. At least they seem formidable. It just so happens that none of the mythical beasts want to do battle. They'd rather play games, make friends, blow smoke rings, that sort of thing. All in all, though, young Henry still finds it quite exciting. A marvelous story. Ages 3 and up.
EAST DRAGON WEST DRAGON by Robyn Eversole, illustrated by Scott Campbell
East Dragon and West Dragon live on opposite sides of the world. East Dragon is sophisticated, West Dragon is a little rough around the edges. But then a problem of pesky knights emerges and the two dragons, at first wary of each other, join together and become friends to solve their little knight-problem. Your kids will delight in studying the amusing illustrations. Ages 4 and up.
AMY WU AND THE PATCHWORK DRAGON by Kat Zhang, illustrated by Charlene Chua
I adored this book! Amy's class listens to a story about dragons and then follows up with a craft in which they are to create their own dragons. When Amy sets out to draw her dragon, she is unsatisfied with the results, which reflect western ideas of dragon-ness. At home, her grandma's story reminds Amy of a Lunar New Year dragon costume in her attic. Amy's next idea is to build a dragon that is a patchwork of characteristics from both eastern and western dragons. Ages 4 and up.
ELLIE'S DRAGON by Bob Graham
Ellie finds a newborn dragon, brings him home and names him, "Scratch." She houses him in her dollhouse and takes care of him. As Ellie grows, she takes him to school with her, but only the other children can see him, not the adults. Scratch also grows, and their relationship changes. When Ellie turns eleven, Scratch starts to fade. Then when Ellie is thirteen and completely outgrown Scratch, he finds a new child to make a home with. Ages 4 and up.
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A DRAGON by Jack Kent
Here's a great classic dragon book from 1975. Billy Bixbee finds a dragon in his room, and although his mom insists, "there's no such thing as a dragon," the dragon grows and grows! In other words, if you refuse to see the problem, it's not going to go away! My kids loved this hilarious story. Ages 3 and up.
THE KNIGHT AND THE DRAGON by Tomie dePaola
What would you rather do, fight to the death or have a BBQ? A bookish knight and a not-so scary dragon research the basics of battle. A wonderful, feel good book that demonstrates not everyone fits in a pre-ordained role. Don't forget! The Damsel-not-in-Distress knows best. Ages 3 and up.
THE DRAGON AND THE KNIGHT: A POP-UP MISADVENTURE by Robert Sabuda
This pop-up "misadventure" will delight dragon lovers young and old! In a collection of fairy tales, a fire-breathing dragon is chased through the pages by a marshmallow-loving knight. Throughout the pages, the pair literally "pop-up," making the story harder and harder to read. Of course it's not really about the fairy tale collection, it's all about the knight and dragon's game of tag. Immense fun. Ages 5 and up.
DEAR DRAGON: A PEN PAL TALE by Josh Funk, illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo
George the boy and Blair the dragon become pen pals when their respective school classrooms give out an assignment to write letters. The catch? The letters must rhyme. The pair become friends through their creative letter writing endeavor and when they finally meet, each is mightily impressed with the other. Not only are the letters fun to read aloud, but the illustrations are delightful. Ages 4 and up.
AGAIN! by Emily Gravett
Emily Gravett is one of my favorite picture book authors. Her metafictional texts are inventive and imaginative. In this one, a little dragon wants his favorite bedtime story again and again and again. When his weary mother (can you relate?) can no longer keep her eyes open, he takes matters into his own hands, with surprising results. Ages 3 and up.
DRAGON WAS TERRIBLE by Kelly Dipucchio, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Kids will love this amusing dragon story! Dragon is a terribly misbehaving dragon and the king has had enough! He offers a reward to whomever can tame the dragon. None of the knights who step up are successful, so the village turns to ordinary folks. But the dragon continues to grow more and more terrible. Not until a local boy demonstrates the magic of storytelling does the dragon show signs of calming down. Will it work? You'll have to read and find out. Ages 3 and up.
HAVE YOU SEEN MY DRAGON? by Steve Light
Find it: Your Library | Amazon
What could be more glorious to a kid than the idea of a dragon on the loose in the city? Incredibly detailed drawings take readers on a journey all over the metropolis with a boy looking for his dragon. Kids will love spotting the dragon experiencing the delights of the city, as they count from one to twenty. Finally, in Chinatown, the boy locates his friend. Ages 3 and up.
More books about mythical creatures: