I mentioned in my review of Elmer and the Dragon that all I needed to do to complete the series with my girls was to happen upon the third book, The Dragons of Blueland. I did just that in some of my bookish ramblings the past few months, either at my library’s wonderful used bookstore or at a consignment sale, I’ve forgotten which. After reading The Trumpet of the Swan (my thoughts here) aloud over a period of several weeks, I knew we needed a shorter read-aloud for a little break. The girls were glad to revisit Elmer and his friend the baby dragon, whose name, we learn in The Dragons of Blueland, is Boris. In this short, focused little fantastical children’s story, Boris returns to his home to learn that man has encroached on his usually well-hidden home on Blueland, and he turns to Elmer Elevator for help. Elmer must help Boris liberate his whole family, including his thirteen siblings, from the cave where they are held hostage by men outside with a net, poised to capture them if they escape. Elmer’s normal McGyver-ish ingenuity enables him to help the poor dragons in a way that couldn’t fail to bring a smile to the faces of young readers or listeners. In fact, my girls and I had a brief but delightful discussion of how his strategy reminded us of one we’d read before. The Dragons of Blueland, copyrighted in 1951 and written by Ruth Stiles Gannett, is a vintage find I’m so glad I happened upon. This book, along with its prequels, My Father’s Dragon and Elmer and the Dragon, is a perfect choice for reading aloud to the youngest listeners.
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