Perfect Picture Book Friday – Alexander And The Dragon

Goodness, the weeks are flying by!  Here we are at Perfect Picture Book Friday again already!  Having spent half my week washing the dogs I am feeling a bit behind (see Wednesday’s post if you missed it and are wondering why).  The result?  I will be admirably succinct!

I have an oldie but a goodie to share today 🙂

Title: Alexander And The Dragon
Written By: Katherine Holabird
Illustrated By: Helen Craig
Clarkson N. Potter, Inc, November 1988, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: fear (of the dark), friendship

Opening: “Alexander was quite small, but he was very, very brave.  He wasn’t afraid of dogs or thunderstorms; he liked riding on roller coasters and swimming underwater.  The only thing that really frightened Alexander was the dark.”

Brief Synopsis: Alexander does not like the dark.  Especially when he discovers a dragon under his bed.  “There are only two things you can do with a dragon,” says his father.  “You’ve either got to scare it off or make friends with it.”  So Alexander dons his armor…

Links To Resources: Dragon coloring pages, printables and crafts, dream catcher craft for kids (not exactly fear of the dark – more nightmares – but same general area :)), talk about fears with kids – what are they afraid of? what are some things they could do to scare those fears away?

Why I Like This Book: This is a sweet story told and illustrated in a comforting way.  Alexander’s parents are kind and understanding, but they leave it up to him to face his fear.  He does, learning a valuable lesson in the process: if he is brave enough to face a dragon, he can handle the dark.  What’s great about this book is that, should you happen to be reading it to several children at once (for example, your own at bedtime :)), it’s a soothing story for one who is afraid of the dark while still a fun story about a boy and a dragon for everyone else.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now, everyone, off you go to enjoy all the other books on today’s list.  I told you I was going to be admirably succinct!  (And yes, it’s really me, not an impostor :))  I was going to wax poetic about something I want to share with you, but it will have to wait until I have time to do it justice… maybe Monday 🙂  Also, keep a weather eye out for the upcoming Halloweensie Contest Announcement!!!

PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific link in the list below.

Have a great weekend, everyone! 🙂

40 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Alexander And The Dragon

  1. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    We've been having fear of the dark issues while traveling. We may need to look this one up at the library. Have a great weekend. Ah, the weather is a changing.

  2. bgruener says:

    He “dons his armor …” LOVE it! I'll never have enough books about tackling fears on my shelf.

    Sending smiles and gratitude from the south, Barbara

  3. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    Cute! I love the cover, and the opening, and the message, and the illustrations, and… Well, to be incredibly succinct AWESOME :), I the dragon coloring pages you linked to (and the egg carton dragon craft on the page)! I'll be takin' a trip to the library! 😀

  4. Rhythm says:

    This sure looks like a cute one. I like to hear about kids conquering their fears. Alexander's Dad sounds like a pretty cool dad!

  5. patientdreamer says:

    What a cute story! Love to know how he solved his fear. I am still away, just arrived in Cairns for the wedding tomorrow, 30degC at 8pm right now and managed to borrow a computor for a couple of hours. Yay!

  6. Wendy Greenley says:

    Thanks for reminding us of this book, Susanna. Not only for the kids but for those of us (yeah, I admit it) that have to restrain those helicopter parenting urges. Kids can do a lot on their own.

  7. Clarbojahn says:

    I once wrote a manuscript with this very issue only it was monsters and once I found out how many books there were dealing with this issue I didn't pursue publication.

    I think one of the ways parents can help their kids be less afraid of the dark is by making friends with their fears or what they are afraid of. It's psychologically sound. There fore this book is a valuable tool to that end.

    Whew! Can I get off my soap box now?

    Ps: Love the book.

  8. Patricia Tilton says:

    So many kids are afraid of the dark and I like the idea of a dragon under the bed and the child's solving the problem himself.

    For a while I was able to go to blogger and sign in on your blog as a guest without having to go to Firefox. But, all this week Disqus isn't downloading at all for me when I bring up your site. So used Firefox to respond to your PPB. Don't know why. Still could respond to all of the links this am on blogspot.

  9. Mike Allegra says:

    I can't believe that I've never heard of this one before. I'm gonna check it out.

    And I await your Halloweensie instructions with bated breath.

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    This is an older one, but we like it 🙂 It's written/illustrated by the same team that did Angelina Ballerina. I hope your fear of the dark issues subside soon… it's a tough one. My dark fearer still is much happier with a nightlight 🙂 Weather is changing here too – looks like fall, feels like summer! 🙂

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I love it too! Some reviewer or other had complaints about the fact that there was “bashing” in the story, but as it was largely directed at the bed post (in an attempt to scare the dragon out from underneath) I did not find it unduly violent 🙂 Hope you have a lovely day, Barbara! 🙂

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I agree! And the dragon ends up being great friends with Alexander, which is such a happy outcome for everyone 🙂 I love the final picture with Alexander sound asleep in the dark and dragon curled around him 🙂

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ACK! I don't know, Pat! Disqus has been weird this week – duplicating comments and the like. And my web mastermind has been working on my blog today to try to fix the tabs, so maybe that had something to do with it… So sorry for the inconvenience… again!


  14. pennyklostermann says:

    My library doesn't have it available 😦 That's so unusual. They normally have the books I want unless they're really new.

    It sounds so great!

  15. pennyklostermann says:

    What a nice offer, Susanna. But if something happened to it, that would be awful. I found it used on Amazon for a reasonable price. I'm sure it's less than what it would cost to ship it forth and back. I added it to my wish list. My wish list grows and grows 🙂 Thanks for offering, though.

  16. Jackie says:

    This was my 25 year old sons favourite book as a child. I use it regularly in class with my 10 year olds and this year it is forming the basis for our class assembly. Many years of enjoyment still to be had and I, too, love the last picture!.

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