In the 1980s, I borrowed a record from a public library, which told a story about a dragon that could not breathe fire. It would have been a reading of an existing novel that I would like to locate. I think that the record was part of a series of recordings of children's fantasy books that also included The Phantom Tollbooth. At the very least, I recall getting out a record of (part of) The Phantom Tollbooth at around the same time. (After first posting this question, I thought to call the library and ask them about it; however, they do not have lending records extending back that far, nor do they have a record of what LPs they once had in their collection.)

I think that the actual protagonist was a child from our world (although I may be getting it confused with The Phantom Tollbooth on this point), who somehow travelled to the dragon's fantasy kingdom and encountered various characters who taunted the dragon about his inability to breath fire. There was a jailer who threatened the dragon with his chain and, when the dragon could not breath fire, said, "You're not a dragon, but a mouse. Here's your cheese." Then the king showed up with a bunch of courtiers (including "ne'er-do-'ells") who all tauntingly sang, "Breath us fire. Breath us fire. Breath us fire, little dragon!"

Eventually, the kid does manage to get the dragon to breath fire, and this leads to some kind of further adventures. Beside the fire-breathing dragon, which was a forest dragon, there were other dragons, including sky dragons. The protagonist sees a sky dragon breathing clouds at one point.

So what was the book this was based upon?

  • I don't think it's any of the books at themidlifemamas.com/ultimate-list-of-books-about-dragons but you might take a gander.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 19:36
  • @FuzzyBoots Alas, none of those look like the one.
    – Buzz
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 19:40
  • You managed to evoke some memories, but i was born in 81, so i see flashes of stuff you described. Puff the Magic Dragon was along those lines. But i dont think it's correct. Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 20:44
  • Before How to Train your Dragon became an animated movie, it was a 12 book series of children's books. Toothless in the books was much less of a badass than the film, so I could see a story arc like you describe possibly being in the books. But that's just speculation
    – infixed
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 21:56
  • @infixed Those were written decades too late, I'm afraid.
    – Buzz
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 2:23

1 Answer 1


I think you are looking for is "The Little Dragon" from The Little Dragon and Orange Cheeks by Jay O'Callahan.

Long ago there was a little dragon who couldn't breathe fire. One evening, the setting sun was turning blue. Unless the little dragon could climb Dragon Mountain that night and breathe fire into the rising sun it would turn completely to ice. Can the dragon learn to breathe fire? And if he does, can he breathe fire all the way up to the sun?

Here is a link to the author's website where he sells an audio download version of it. This Amazon page notes the stories were originally released in 1980 and 1982.

  • 2
    Why do you think this matches? Can you state what details match up?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 1:47
  • 1
    In addition, you should include the relevant excerpt of the linked page. Web pages don't last forever, and the question shouldn't be reliant on the link alone for the answer.
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 1:48
  • I haven't listened to the recording yet, but the part about de-icing the moon sounds very familiar. This must be it.
    – Buzz
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 2:34
  • @Buzz: Did you acquire a copy of the recording then? I'll admit to being very curious. I requested a copy via ILL.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 9:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.