Most kids go through a dragon phase, riding dragons, slaying dragons, being dragons. If your child is in the midst of a dragon obsession then these dragon books for kids are just the thing, no matter what the age.
This list of dragon books includes dragon picture books, early chapter books and chapter ("middle grade") books. I could have made this list so much longer—plug
"dragon" into the library catalog and you'll see what I mean! However, I've limited this list to five of my favorite specimens of dragon books from each category to keep the book list more manageable. And I hope, once your've whetted your child's dragon-size appetite for reading, you will head back to the library and search out more dragon books because there are tons more out there that are quite excellent.
Sometimes there is an unfortunate tendency to lump dragon books as "boy books." Be ye not so foolish! You will see in this list there are a number of books which have strong female protagonists and all of these books are great for boys I girls. (Note: book titles and covers are affiliate links.)
Dragon Picture Books
King Arthur's Very Great Grandson is a bit of a twist on the knight adventure story. Young Henry Alfred Grummorson sets out to slay some 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.
East Dragon, West Dragon. Sometimes those knights can be so annoying. When dragons unite good things can happen. Don't forget to study the amusing illustrations.
There's No Such Thing as a Dragon. A great classic 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.
The Knight and the Dragon. 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.
Max's Dragon. Rhyming words are powerful. They might just bring brothers together and help you find a dragon. I recommend all the Max Books which contain wonderful word play. Also check out Max's Words and Max's Castle (which was one of our favorite books of 2011)
Marigold and the Dragon. This is actually the 6th picture book on this list, but since it is hard to find I didn't want to include it in the list of five above. This is my favorite children's book in the entire world. It is out of print but available at some libraries. Get it through interlibrary loan if you need to. Totally worth it. It has a dragon named Snigglefritz, an intrepid, determined princess and cucumber sandwiches. I even wrote an entire post about this book. Pair it with The Paper Bag Princess.
Dragon Early Chapter Books
A Friend For Dragon. This series from the author of Captain Underpants is absolutely hilarious. Spare, easy to read text and colorful, crazy illustrations make reading about dragon's hapless adventures the perfect book for kids just transitioning to chapter books.
My Father's Dragon. Have you never read this classic trilogy for the 1940s? What are you waiting for? This is my number one recommendation for a first read aloud for preschoolers to 6 year olds. But it is excellent for independent reading, too.
Thomas and the Dragon Queen. This is in the upper range of early chapter books, and is a good choice for kids who are on the cusp of reading middle grade novels. An overlooked chapter book about a pint-sized hero off on his first real quest.
Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay. Zoey is can-do girl scientist who learns she has a super secret skill: she can see magical creatures. Her not-so secret skill is applying the scientific method to taking care of these creatures when they are injured. This charming early chapter book series that teaches kids scientific concepts with a fantasy twist is a welcome addition to a growing body of STEM literature.
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. Jeremy is not a wizard, but the eccentric shopkeeper insists he take home a mysterious box. Inside the box is an egg which hatches into a small dragon, and now Jeremy must quickly learn how to take care of it. The dragon cannot stick around forever, though, but tending him helps Jeremy discovers new ways of navigating the perils of tween-dom. There are several books in the series, all with children who suddenly come face to face with something magical.
Dragon Chapter Books
Kenny & the Dragon. I love this delightful retelling of Kenneth Grahame's classic, The Reluctant Dragon. It is even a bit easier to read aloud to kids because the language is more accessible than the original. But still a wonderful story of a boy (or a rabbit, in this case) who convinces the townsfolk that the vicious dragon is not such a threat after all.
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott. This is also an excellent choice for early middle grade readers, ages 7 and up. One day, Jaxon's mom leaves him in the care of Ma, a woman who he thinks is his grandmother but is actually a witch on a baby dragon delivery mission. Ma takes him on as her apprentice and they travel to a magical world. When they are all set to return to Brooklyn, Ma is accidentally left behind and Jaxon enlists the help of his friends to take care of the baby dragons and rescue Ma.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. An amazing adventure story. Accompanied by her dragon friend, Minli sets out on a quest to change her fortune. Author Lin draws heavily from Chinese folklore in this book which is, IMHO, one of the best children's chapter books of all time.
Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell. Aspiring author Princess Tilda is an independent-minded princess who has never even considered slaying dragons because of her disfigured foot. However, her cousin, Ivo, wishes to steal her kingdom and she ends up fleeing her kingdom. Her ensuing adventure involves magic, capture, a menacing Blue-beard character, and (of course) dragon slaying.
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart. This book has received tons of praise, and for good reason. When Adventurine the dragon is turned into a human girl with a taste for chocolate she decides to head towards the human village to try and prove her worth. A heartwarming, thrilling book and I love that the narration was from the dragon-girl's point of view. Splendid.
Dragonbreath (series) by Ursula Vernon. Danny Dragonbreath has a bit of a problem: he can’t breath fire. In an effort to complete a school assignment, he drags his friend, Wendell, off on an adventure, which doesn’t turn out so well for Wendell, but Danny’s breath might just finally save the day. This is a combo novel-graphic-novel book that my boys loved and I caught them laughing quite a few times.
… and of course if your child doesn't like dragons, you'll be sure to find an alternative book list in my index.
More book lists you will love:
- Magic early chapter books
- Adventure picture books for kids
- Books about fairies and dollhouses
- Science fiction picture books for kids