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The Reluctant Dragon

The following activities can be used with the book Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame. Mr. Grahame is also the author of the books Wind in the Willows and Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

Book Summary

The story is about a a big dragon, a boy, and a knight. The dragon is peaceful and doesn’t want to have anything to do with fighting and becomes best friends with the boy. But the boy’s village calls on the night to slay the dragon because they won’t believe he is peaceful. The boy introduces the knight to the dragon and they stage a mock battle to fool the villagers. They succeed and everyone lives happily ever after. The book, originally entitled Dream Days, was published in 1953 under the name The Reluctant Dragon.

About the Author

Kenneth Grahame was born in 1859. After a career in banking, Mr. Grahame turned his hand to writing. He was also a great storyteller. His characters are funny and friendly. His stories reflect his sense of humor and a great as children’s books.

1. In the story, the boy becomes friends with the dragon by sharing poetry and stories. Think about why friends are important and how we can develop friendships.

2. A possible collateral topic to cover is friendship.

3. An art activity would be to have the child(ren) draw what they think the reluctant dragon looks like based on the description in the book. Or, have them draw dragons in general.

4. For older students, discuss the concept of what a stereotype is.

5. Discuss how to problem solve. This is what the boy, the knight, and the dragon did to defuse a potentially violent situation.

6. A collateral project suggestion is poetry. Allow the child(ren) to write their own poetry. Or, compose a poem based on the story.

7. Discussion question: Why did the villagers think it was necessary to get St. George to come to their village?

8. Discussion question: Would you have helped the dragon? Why or why not?

9. Discussion question: How did the dragon and the knight make the fight look real?

10. Draw a picture of the village as it was described in the book.

Suggested Vocabulary/Spelling Words:

Other books by Kenneth Grahame


The Golden Age (Common Reader Editions)

Dream Days (Common Reader Editions)

The Adventures of Mr Toad

Toad Triumphant

Wind in the Willows Coloring Book

The Willows and Beyond


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