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Katie and Kevin Tsang Recommend Their Favourite Dragon Stories

Posted on 3rd September 2020 by Waterstones

Dragon Mountain, our Children's Book of the Month for September, sets a group of children on an epic quest to free a quartet of fire-breathing beasts, and opens an exciting new series from the creators of Sam Wu. In this exclusive piece, the authors Katie and Kevin Tsang share their favourite fiction featuring these fiery creatures, from picture books to Young Adult fiction and adult fantasy. 

Who doesn’t love dragons? The mere mention of a dragon captures the imagination and adds excitement and magic to a story. A dragon is the kind of creature you would always want on your side, and never want to have to go up against. We wanted to do our take on dragons, and combine Eastern and Western dragon mythologies and legends with our own idea of what dragons might be like. Our favorite part of writing Dragon Mountain was coming up with our four distinctive dragon characters. We wanted them to be fierce, funny, wise, and strong. We wanted them to be the kind of dragons that we would have wanted to meet as kids, and still would want to meet now! We hope that when readers meet the dragons in Dragon Mountain their imaginations will take flight and they will be inspired to think about what they would want their own dragon to be like. 

There are so many amazing dragons in children’s fiction! Here are a few of our favorites. 

Katie’s first introduction to dragons was when her dad read My Father’s Dragon out loud to her when she was a little girl, and that probably started her love of dragons! In this book, first published in 1948, a little boy has to go on an adventure to a magical island to rescue a baby dragon being used by the other animals as a way to cross the river. It is still one of her favorites and is now one of Kevin’s favorites too. 



There are so many great dragons in picture books! Two of our favorites are Dragon Post, by Emma Yarlett about a little boy trying to figure out how to best care for his new dragon companion, and Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin – which is, as you might imagine, about dragons who love tacos. We also love tacos, and actually have a tradition of eating tacos every time we finish a draft of a book, so Dragon Loves Tacos combines two of our favorite things. 

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Red-hot salsa incidents and fiery breaths aplenty in this side-splitting story of a beastly passion for tacos, from the award-winning team of Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri.
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A fiery surprise visitor turns Alex’s world upside down in this engaging and humorous picture book about making friends and finding ways to help.
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For middle grade readers, we recently read and loved Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, a beautiful story inspired by Chinese folklore about Minli and the dragon she meets and their journey to find the Old Man of the Moon. 

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Dreams, a fortune-changing goldfish and a dragon who can’t fly lead Minli on a quest to meet the Old Man in the Moon in this spellbinding fantasy entwined with Chinese folklore.
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One of our favourite recent dragon stories is the absolutely wonderful Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis about a dragon named Aventurine who is turned into a human when she is tricked by a sorcerer using enchanted hot chocolate. The whole series is a delight and one we can’t wait to introduce our daughter to when she is a little older.

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A dragon transformed into a girl exhibits insatiable confectionery cravings in this heartfelt tale of determination, friendship and trust.
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Another recent dragon story we are big fans of is The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell – this is an engaging and super fun read that will appeal to any Sam Wu fans. 

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In the first of Stowell’s fun-filled series, Kit, who is dragged along to the library against her will, makes an incredible discovery that will change her life forever.
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And of course, we can’t talk about dragon books without mentioning How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell — we love the original books as well as the movie adaptations. 

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A mix of old-fashioned adventure and delightfully quirky comedy, How to Train Your Dragon kick-starts Cowell’s remarkable fantasy series featuring hapless Vikings and their flying reptilian steeds.
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For YA readers, there are more amazing dragon stories available! Burn by Patrick Ness is one of Katie’s favorite YA novels published this year—a riveting and gorgeously written genre-defying novel featuring a fantastic dragon character named Kazimir. 

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Set in an alternate 1950s America where dragons double as farmhands and sinister conspiracies spread like wildfire, Burn is a story of friendship and bravery in a world on the brink of its own destruction.

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Eragon by Christopher Paolini is also a must read for any dragon fans! We love the dragon bond between the main character and his dragon Saphira. 

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The opening novel in Paolini’s bestselling The Inheritance Cycle, Eragon is a superbly crafted story of destiny, magic and affection between a boy and a dragon.
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We’re biased for this one, but we both love the mystical dragon that appears throughout Katie’s YA debut, Wing Jones. 

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Following a Chinese-Ghanaian high-schooler faced by a family tragedy, Wing Jones is a powerful story of resilience and hope, laced with magical realism courtesy of a fire-breathing beast.
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And as bonus recommendations, two of our favorite books for adults featuring dragons are Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. Sorcerer to the Crown is a brilliant historical fantasy about magical societies in Regency London, and whenever a dragon makes an appearance they steal the show. 

Dragons are at the heart of Priory of the Orange Tree, and like Dragon Mountain, it features dragons inspired by both Western and Eastern mythology. This sweeping, epic high fantasy is a book we would recommend to any adult dragon fans. 

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Cho’s award-winning debut opens the doors to a wickedly funny universe of magicians, royalty and female supernatural prodigies in Regency London.
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Set in an impeccably realised world of dragons, warring factions and underground rebellion, The Priory of the Orange Tree has all the hallmarks of a fantasy classic.
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