My new GEMSTONE DRAGON chapter book series is coming out in a few weeks! So I wanted to celebrate all things dragons around the world. My Gemstone Dragons are different from other dragons. They’re fun, sparkly and have a magical power that comes from the gemstone in their chest. They know, however, that their biggest power is friendship. Dragons from around the world are mythical creatures, but sometimes I do wonder if they aren’t based on reality because dragons show up in the folklore of lots of different areas around the world. Here are some examples along with books that feature them:
European dragons usually have four legs and two wings. They live in mountains and collect gold and treasure of all kinds. Famous stories with European dragons include the Lord of the Rings series and St. George and the Dragon. For a fun and silly book featuring a European dragon and a Knight, check out the picture book The Knight and the Dragon written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola.
Chinese dragons are long and thin. Most of them don’t have wings, and they have paws like a tiger. They are wise and powerful creatures with great power over nature, especially bodies of water. For a cool book about Chinese dragons, check out the National Book Award finalist middle-grade novel Where the Mountain Meets the Moon written by Grace Lin.
Norse mythology features the largest dragon-like creature on this list. Jörmungandr is known as the world serpent because he is long enough to encircle the entire world and bite his own tail. Jörmungandr makes an appearance in The Sword of Summer, the first book in Rick Riordian’s middle-grade series Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.
In Greek mythology, the hydra is a many-headed, snake-like monster, similar to a dragon. What makes this dragon extra scary, is its incredible healing powers. Whenever one of its heads is chopped off, it grows back two heads in its place. The hero Hercules fought the hydra in one of his many adventures. For a modern story featuring a hydra, check out the middle-grade novel A Hint of Hydra written by Heidi Land and Kati Bartkowski.
Dragons in India are called nagas. Nagas are serpentine semi-divinities from Hindu mythology and are associated with the underworld and water. Some nagas are large snakes, some appear as humans, and some are half-human, half-snake. They are often protagonists in Hindu myths. For a fun book featuring a naga, check out The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta.
Do you like dragons? What are you favorite dragon books?