The Loathsome Dragon

Wiesner, David

Book - 1987
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Loathsome Dragon
A wicked queen casts a spell over her beautiful stepdaughter, turning her into a loathsome dragon until such time as her wandering brother shall return and kiss her three times.

Publisher: New York : Putnam, c1987.
ISBN: 0618543597
Characteristics: [32] p. :,col. ill. ;,28 cm.
Additional Contributors: Kahng, Kim


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Feb 25, 2015
  • FindingJane rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Filled with Mr. Wiesner’s lovely and semi-realistic drawings, this is a sword-and-sorcery tale of a different sort. It has all the elements of a knight rescuing a beleaguered lady from a fearsome dragon, but the story is quite different in its basics.

The originality of the story is ably assisted by Mr. Wiesner’s illustrations. He knows, through subtle touches, how to keep the dragon of the story from looking truly terrifying. Her eyes are human eyes, the scales have the appearance of rounded stones in a pond and the spines are wavy looking, like a fish’s fins. She is scary in her size but not her attitudes and all this removes her from the vicious dragons commonly depicted.

The manner of her deliverance is a twist on the trope of a prince awakening a princess as is the nature of her deliverer. In this story, affection and cunning free loved ones, not force and brute strength, putting it notches above typical fairy tales.

Aug 13, 2014

we are constantly looking for books about dragons and knights. this one is beautifully illustrated and the story brief enough for young preschoolers. we've read it several times and will check it out again. and it's funny to hear a toddler say "loathsome dragon."

Aug 02, 2014
  • mmcbeth29 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

There is no denying that the illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous. But the subject matter is very mature for a children's book as are a few of the illustrations. This is a sleeping beauty type of story except the evil stepmother turns the girl into a dragon. In this story, the brother must save the girl with three kisses. Fairy tales have a very important part in the lives of children of all ages, but I feel it is important to carefully straddle the fine line between what is appropriate for each age audience. Picture books tend to be written for younger children. This fairy tale is written for a middle-grade audience. Examples of this are the bewitching enchantress, the jealous stepmother, chanting magic, the devouring dragon, evil spirits, and the girl coming out of the dragon naked.
Would I recommend this book? MAYBE. I would recommend for ages 9 and up.

May 16, 2014
  • gopherguts rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Beautifully told and beautifully illustrated.


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Aug 02, 2014
  • mmcbeth29 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


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