The Reluctant Dragon

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Kenneth Grahame

Narrated By: A Full Cast, Bobbie Frohman

Publisher: Alcazar AudioWorks

Date: January 2012

Duration: 1 hours 13 minutes

Summary:

The Reluctant Dragon is far more interested in writing and reading poetry than in belching fire to frighten and threaten the townspeople. He befriends a young villager and has a wonderful adventure facing St. George, the famous slayer of dragons, in a mock battle of ferocious, but harmless fun.

When a dragon is discovered up on the Downs, the Boy is not in the least surprised. He's always known the cave there was a dragon cave, so it seems only right for a dragon to be living in it. The Boy decides to pay a visit to the cave, and he thinks he knows just what to expect. But this particular dragon is not a bit like the ones in fairy tales!

AUTHOR
Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) was a children's novelist and bank executive, with a long a successful career at the Bank of England.

Grahame was born in Scotland, but after the death of his mother when he was five, went to live with his grandmother in a charming country village in Berkshire, England.

Grahame and his siblings had an idyllic childhood, their surroundings inspired the setting for The Wind in the Willows. Grahame's writing career was inspired by the stories he told his beloved only child, who suffered poor health his very short life.

COMMENTARY
Reviews for Alcazar AudioWorks' production of The Reluctant Dragon
The Reluctant Dragon is a wonderful story of a kind hearted dragon that just doesn't fit the dragon stereotype. The dragon makes some unlikely friends: a young boy who loves to write poetry and St. George, the knight and dragon fighter. The trio make a plan to satisfy the townspeople and help the dragon. All is well in the end; it is a delightful, contemporary fairytale.

Alcazar Audio Works brings the story to life with the voice talents of Bruce Blau, Bobbie Frohman, Susan McCarthy, Linda Montgomery, David Thorn, and Jim Johanson. Each section or chapter of the book plays on a separate track, so it is easy to pick up the story where you left off.

We had a long drive ahead of us, I popped this CD into the player, and off we went to story land to visit the old town and climb the hill to a cave to find the dragon. We cheered and laughed as we listened to the tale. Before I knew it, we had arrived at our destination and the end of the story. My heartfelt thanks goes to Alcazar Audio Works for a wonderfully quick trip with contented children.
Reviewed By: Kate O'Mara - EHO Eclectic Homeschool Online

Quotes from/about The Reluctant Dragon or Kenneth Grahame
""Warm colors and visual details portray a lively medieval village and complement Grahame's expressive prose. Ages 8-11.""

Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. -Publishers Weekly
""The richly expressive prose of Kenneth Grahame continues to delight. The illustrations...bring to life the medieval-village scenes, full of warm colors and busy activities.""--""The telling is delightfully tongue-in-cheek...His star attraction is an imaginative animal and he makes this reluctant dragon live."" Unabridged --School Library Journal, starred review

""A wonderful story about peace, war, and using your brain...A medieval fable with implications for the nuclear age.""-Entertainment Weekly

"[A] classic tale of loyalty and compassion."-School Library Journal (starred review)

"The richly expressive prose of Kenneth Grahame continues to delight...full of warm colors and busy activities."-Language Arts

The Reluctant Dragon is a mild-mannered specimen of his breed who, unlike the ""active and earnest"" fellows who used to charge around battling knights, has survived long enough to develop his passion for poetry. He is befriended by an intelligent young shepherd boy, who is placed in an awkward position when the villagers discover the dragon's presence. Although the dragon has harmed no one, the villagers are so aroused that they call on Saint George to battle this ""pestilential scourge."" When Saint George arrives the dragon flatly refuses to fight, and the boy is left to find a solution to the impasse.

This is a brilliantly written satirical fantasy, lambasting the traditional knight-and-dragon stories and providing a wonderful protagonist that boys of all ages (and many girls) will want to identify with. The fantastical pleasure of friendship with a dragon is enhanced by encounters with the famous knight, a theatrical battle, and plenty of intelligent wit to amuse both children and adults. The language is advanced, suitable for reading aloud or for confident self-readers. Some of the humor will be above young readers' heads, but there is enough action to make it interesting for younger ages.-Amazon.com
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