Laurinda’s Rating: 3.5/5
In this amusing tale from 1949, a boy retells the story of how his father, when he himself was young, traveled to a far away island to rescue a baby dragon.
When his (used henceforth to refer to the father) mother ejects the alley cat which he has been feeding, the boy sets off to Wild Island to rescue an imprisoned baby dragon. Using his wits and the items he brought in his bag, he outsmarts a wide variety of hostile animals. Tigers are fond of chewing gum, the rhinoceros clearly wanted for a toothbrush and toothpaste with which to clean his horn, and the lion desperately needed a comb for his mane. In a final stroke of brilliance, the boy ties lollipops to the crocodiles’ tails to get them to form a bridge across the river.
The boy successfully frees the chained up baby dragon, and the two fly away together.
This is a simple children’s book, but the wittiness of the boy and the fabulous illustrations make this worth reading. It took maybe – maybe – half a lunch period to read, so it’s a quick and entertaining entry in the Newbery cannon.