Discovering Dragonology

Geek Culture

The Dragonology series has been out for a while now (as a matter of fact, it’s apparently popular enough to warrant video game versions), but it’s not so ancient that I ever ran into it myself, and my kids have been too young to pick up on it. 

Until now, that is. 

We were at the bookstore on the weekend and my daughter, Tasha, discovered the Dragonology: A Field Guide To Dragons from Candlewick Press.

I have to say, this is a pretty cool piece of kit.  Besides an authentic looking, antiqued hard cover with a few inlaid “jewels” and parchment style pages with really nicely done illustrations, this particular volume also includes the cardboard bits (already punched out and sorted into individual envelopes) to make a dozen different dragon models.  The models all use the same basic assembly components, but the cardboard is quite sturdy, the glossy printing is detailed and colorful and, most surprisingly, there is a great deal of variation between dragon models; not just the same beast repeated a dozen times in different colors.

The writing style evokes the spirit of a nineteenth century field guide and dragons from various cultures are covered.  Topics include details on identifying each species (size, color, shape, etc..), habitat, eggs and their preferred methods of attack or defense.  Almost a cross between an Audubon guide book and a D&D Monster Manual.  Tasha is 8 and the book itself is interesting enough to have kept her reading it and pointing out “facts” to me, while assembling the models made for a fun Saturday evening.  She even let me keep one of the dragons for my office.

I obviously have a lot of catching up to do.  With more volumes in the set and a whole collection of “ology” series out there -Wizardology, Egyptology, Pirateology and Mythology as well as Dragonology- I suspect I’ll be making a few more purchases in coming months, at least if this first volume is any indication of what the others are like.  In the meantime, if anyone who has experience with any of these has suggestions on what to try next (I have 5.5 year old twin boys as well), your input would be greatly appreciated.



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