Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology Handbook : a practical course in dragons

Common Sense Media says

More detailed information for dragon fanatics.





What parents need to know


Some dragons eat humans, not described.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Part of the Ologies series.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know there is little to be concerned about here. Kids might even learn something about solving riddles -- amid all the fictional dragon facts.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Made to look like an antique book (complete with stains) this companion to the bestselling Dragonology is presented as a student textbook for aspiring dragonologists. Divided into parts for beginning, intermediate, and advanced dragonologists, it contains information on everything from riddle work and reading dragon writing to identifying dragon types and markings. Like its predecessor, it has lots of fun extras, such as dragon stickers, sealed envelopes with maps and forms, ads for dragonology-related paraphernalia, and more.

Is it any good?


Apparently there are plenty of children out there who are obsessed with dragons; enough, anyway, to warrant a sequel. And that's exactly who this book is for. Any child who is not fanatical about dragons will find it boring in the extreme, but for the right children it will provide hours of fascinating fun as they labor to translate passages written in dragon script, figure out riddles, and follow instructions for improving their skills.

The book is gorgeous -- extensively illustrated and showing great attention to detail in its attempt to look like an antique textbook -- though there are places where ornate fonts on top of pictures are hard to read. The one section children will find disappointing is the chapter titled "How to Draw Dragons," which is badly misnamed and offers no drawing instruction at all.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction. This book is written as though non-fiction, but all the information is made up -- does its presentation make it more fun to read? Do books have to be either fiction or non-fiction? Can you think of any other titles that blur the line?

Book details

Author:Dugald A. Steer
Illustrator:Wayne Anderson
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Candlewick Press
Publication date:October 30, 2005
Number of pages:78
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Read aloud:9
Read alone:9

This review of Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology Handbook : a practical course in dragons was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Kid, 10 years old January 7, 2012


Approprate with nothing violent to worry about.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written bywonder_reader June 24, 2010

Good for all mythical learners

Ive actually researched some of this information, and there are a few facts that are possible yet might not be true, but for the most parts this is a fun, educational book.
What other families should know
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