How to Raise and Keep a Dragon: Feedback from Kids

My friend Joe Nigg, channeling dragon buyer John Topsell, published a book called How to Raise and Keep a Dragon back in 2006. Joe has written a number of wonderful books about mythological and folkloric creatures, but this one had a particularly interesting story behind it--one that's still unfolding. As Joe explains, "A funny thing happened. The book went from a commissioned adult spoof of animal-raising guides to [being] marketing as an illustrated children's book. The book's surprisingly enthusiastic reception internationally (see matches for John Topsell on has shown how fervently many young readers dream of raising their own dragon--and that many adults shared that dream as children, some apparently still believing there are such creatures."

Fueling this impression, Joe says that "Topsell lists fictitious Dragon Suppliers in the back of the book," a resource page that has, in part, led to a lot of correspondence from kids--a veritable outpouring. They run the gamut from literal belief and doubt to imaginary play. Sometimes, Joe says, he responds by writing, "John Topsell's dragons have been in myths and stories worldwide since time immemorial. But there are real animals called 'dragons': the Komodo Dragon of Indonesia (which grows up to 10 scary feet long!), and Chinese Bearded Dragons and Water Dragons, tiny lizards that people raise as pets. What I recommend is that you create your own imaginary Dragon friend. Select its breed, size, and color. Name it, and raise it as you read the book."

Below you'll find some wonderful (uncorrected) excerpts from the many emails and letters received by Joe, which once again show just how imaginative and passionate kids can be about the things they love.

How_to_raise        Dragons_2 (The cover of How to Raise and Keep a Dragon and another great book by Nigg, The Book of Dragons and other Mythical Beasts)

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Comments (257)

Everyone who is asking where to buy one,read the part in the book where it shows registration forms for the WDC.Hint:Mail them a message

Posted by: Aphrodite | Monday June 2, 2014 at 6:38 PM

How much is a mushussu or cockatrice? :) Full sized and miniature

Posted by: Aphrodite | Monday June 2, 2014 at 6:35 PM

I have two dragons a Fire and an Ice dragon. The Ice dragon is getting very ill and I would really like to replace him. I would like to know how to get an Ice dragon egg sent to my house. I adopted the dragons I have from a dragon orphanage and was given them as a present for finding lost dragons.

Posted by: Jaden, age 7 | Wednesday February 5, 2014 at 7:28 PM

deosnt anyone come on here anymore?

Posted by: girlwhowantsdragon | Monday November 18, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Where do you get them!! I totally want one. My friend says she has some and brought it to school but I didn't see any thing.?

Posted by: Flame | Wednesday October 2, 2013 at 3:39 PM

hey gracie can u give me the link to the egg?

Posted by: girlwhowantsdragon | Sunday September 1, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Please, somebodyyyyyyyy. I really want a dragon egg, or even just a dragon. If you can help me out, please comment back, and I give you my email and stuff, but I'm almost 14 years old now, and have always really wanted a dragon. This book is super helpful and awesome (I love it<3)And don't tell me that dragons are fake, cuz I've seen a real dragon egg (they're so cool!) and I can even link you to the pic of the egg! Anywayysss. So please help! :)

Posted by: gracie | Wednesday July 10, 2013 at 11:02 AM

i reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy want a dragon!ive been adicted to dragon items every time i find somthing i freak out and buy it! i read A LOT about dragons and books with dragons in them and im wondering if anyone and it mean ANYONE knows where to get a dragon?

Posted by: girlwhowantsdragon | Monday July 8, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Where do you get a standard western dragon???

Posted by: Flame | Thursday May 9, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Where can i get a standerd western dragon I NEED 1 SO BAD!!!!!!

Posted by: Gracie | Sunday January 6, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Im 12 tears old and im reading how to raise and keep a dragon and i think they are so epic!!!!!! I want a sea dragon or standard western dragon. Can anyone give me info. On how to obtain these amazing creatures????

Posted by: Trevor | Friday January 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM

HEY EVERYONE! HI, I asked my history teachers about Babylon and guess what they said. Babylon still exists. They said that It is under a new name of which none of them know. I also searched the internet about Babylon and some of them say the same thing but under a new name. Some say it is now Iraq and some doesn't say anything at all. For now I am still looking for the new name of Babylon or the EXACT location of Babylon during the old and modern times. CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP AT THIS RESEARCH? This is for ALL of OUR sakes and for everyone who wants a dragon anyway.
Thank you Thank you Thank you to everyone :)

Posted by: Vince | Tuesday November 13, 2012 at 2:35 AM

I asked my mom if Babylon still exists but she said it is now the three countries of Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Well that is what she said. I don't know much of it my self. I know of a spell to make dragons come to you but unfortunately it has to be done on May's full moon. And You have to earn their trust before they show them selves.
I just want a dragon because I want a friend here. Maybe we can ask the author of the book to tell us the real addresses maybe? *sigh*

Posted by: Vince | Monday October 29, 2012 at 4:35 AM

I dont know if all of them are fake but Babylon doesn't exist any more

Posted by: Courtney | Sunday October 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Hi Courtney, I already tried that spell many months ago but a dragon still hasn't come to me yet. And everyone says nothing on the dragon section of SoM works. But I'm sure at least one of them has to work.
And can anyone PLEASE answer my question above this comment. TY to everyone!

Posted by: Vince | Sunday October 28, 2012 at 1:32 AM

HI, umm, I have a question about the book. Are the addresses there Real Or fake?

Posted by: Vince | Thursday October 25, 2012 at 8:38 PM

where con i find a dragon

Posted by: girlwhowantsdragon | Sunday September 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

So I'm pretty sure all of you are idiots. My dreams were crushed with this stupid book when I realized the addresses are fake.

Posted by: Woooow | Saturday September 1, 2012 at 9:12 PM

What? Dragon lessons at school? That's strange, but great!
I love it, really!

Posted by: Helga Read | Friday August 24, 2012 at 7:34 AM

OMG!!! Guess what!!! I found a spell to make a dragon come to you!!!! You need to write on a piece of paper first the name of the dragon you want, then the age you want it to be, then the type, and then whether it's good or bad. Next, you rip up the paper, toss it out a window, and in a few months the dragon will be there!

Posted by: Courtney | Friday August 3, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I believe in dragons so freaking much and I don' t know where to get one could anyone plz plz PLZ help

Posted by: Courtnet | Friday August 3, 2012 at 9:14 AM

wher do i get a dragon ?!?!?!?!

Posted by: girlwhowantsdragon | Saturday July 21, 2012 at 12:36 PM

how do you get a dragon i really want one where can you get one

Posted by: Jaguar | Tuesday July 3, 2012 at 6:17 AM

hello is anyone the i know i seem despret but i realy want a dragon so ppppppppplllllllleeeeeeeeeaaaaaasssssssseeeee tell me where to get one !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: girlwhowantsdragon | Monday July 2, 2012 at 7:52 PM

where can i buy a dragon/ dragon egg? i really want one

Posted by: Jaguar | Monday July 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I`d love to have a dragon. i`ve wanted one for like ever plz tell me where i can get one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i would like almost anyone of them as long as i can pay for it. I`ve been looking ever where for one or their eggs and can`t find anything plz help me find one!!!!!!!!!!! if i did i would be the most happiest girl in the world.

Posted by: girlwhowantsdragon | Saturday June 30, 2012 at 9:42 PM

wait olivia, wat is the EXACT adress u sent the letter to? i wana dragon :(

Posted by: Grace | Sunday April 8, 2012 at 10:57 AM

okay I wanted a dragon since I was 5 and I want a standard western and the color I want would be a darker sky blue and it to have silver wings and a white tummy please tell me how to get one I'm dying to get one please

Posted by: Kelly | Wednesday March 21, 2012 at 10:19 PM

i do believe that dragons exist and they are I love the standard western but sadly they only come in full side and I do not think you would want a miniature dragon of a full because they don't live as long as a full you can get a miniature worm dragon but if you want a dragon you'll have to catch it yourself sorry go hiking where there can be places to hide I thank you so much for believing go hiking your parents would probably like it I do love the book "How To Raise And Keep A Dragon" please keep on believing you can email me at bye from a dragonolgist student in training from the club "Dragon safety assotiation club" for short dsac you can join just email me and I can test you on dragons

Posted by: Kelly | Tuesday March 20, 2012 at 10:13 PM

i cant figure out how to get a dragon! i have read the book how to raise and keep a dragon but i dont know where to get one! i really really want a dragon of india, mushussu, or worm

Posted by: emma | Monday December 26, 2011 at 8:53 PM

Hey Olivia! I REALLY want a mini Mushussu! If you give me your e-mail i will send you my email. My mom dosent allow me to give my adress to people but if you could post yours then I can give it to you. Oh and if possible could you please tell me the adress to this one. I will give you the name and state. Mushussus-the onsort of the gods in babylon.

Posted by: Angela | Wednesday September 14, 2011 at 1:23 PM

is there a website to get a dragon and get it shipped to where i live? and where can u get one?

Posted by: melanie | Friday August 5, 2011 at 10:40 AM


Posted by: Vixen | Sunday July 31, 2011 at 6:00 PM

I'm with you, Frozenbullies and Feroshio. (: Feroshio sounds amazing... I bet it's thrilling to ride him, and he's beautiful. I have many dragons as well.

--To the other-- It's ridiculous to convince someone that dragons exist physically, and that you can purchase them with MONEY. Seriously, if any dragons existed, wouldn't you have seen them? As people's pets? If they truly existed, they wouldn't be purchasable for anything under billions of dollars. Get a grip, kids, and enjoy dragons as they are.

Posted by: DragonRider | Tuesday July 26, 2011 at 1:31 PM

I'm with you, Frozenbullies and Feroshio. (: Feroshio sounds amazing... I bet it's thrilling to ride him, and he's beautiful. I have many dragons as well.

--To the other-- It's ridiculous to convince someone that dragons exist physically, and that you can purchase them with MONEY. Seriously, if any dragons existed, wouldn't you have seen them? As people's pets? If they truly existed, they wouldn't be purchasable for anything under billions of dollars. Get a grip, kids, and enjoy dragons as they are.

Posted by: DragonRider | Tuesday July 26, 2011 at 1:31 PM

It this is a cruel joke then you are all sickos. You're even worse than the "DRAGONOLOGY" series because they at least say "for entertainment purposes only" on the bottom of each page.

P.S If you are not kidding than i'm really sorry and would like the dragon dealers from the resources (their adress not the actual dealer)

Posted by: Drew | Friday November 12, 2010 at 6:09 AM

If ur lying ur even meaner than the dipwads at dragonology because they at least say "entertainment purposes only" at the back and u do not. Youre a bully crushing childrens dreams.

P.S. If this isnt a joke then im so so so so sorry and would like an adress for a western or mushussu dragon.

Posted by: Drew | Wednesday November 10, 2010 at 5:57 AM

Lori and Olivia,

Srsly? I love dragons to death but really? Telling these kids that you can give them a real, live dragon? Stop breaking dreams! I have had my heart smushed too many times over snake-oil dragon sellings. Just give it a rest! So far they can not be found or sold dear Olivia. Follow what I say.


If you want a Dragon just imagine one in your head and heart. My dearest Frost/eastern mix, Feroshio (fear-o-she-o), is the love of my life even if I am the only one who can see him. The dream never dies no matter how many grown-ups tell you kill it.

Much love,
Frozenbullies and Feroshio
Ages 14 and unlimited

Posted by: Frozenbullies | Saturday November 6, 2010 at 9:32 PM

I loved this book. I really want a miniature Piasa or a Standard Western Dragon. has anyone found a place where they breed these? If so please reply.

Posted by: Ruby | Friday November 5, 2010 at 3:27 PM

look i have entered the dragon world. i am also apart of the mystical world. i m a vampire. all of the dragons are kept at a reserve and come to my weebly website to fill out a fourm to get a dragon but it must be kept at the reserve.
thank you.

Posted by: me | Friday October 22, 2010 at 3:06 PM

hello???????????????? is anyone on here????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Posted by: gwyneth | Sunday July 11, 2010 at 4:37 PM

i also read all of ernest drakes books. theyre AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: gwyneth | Tuesday June 8, 2010 at 5:45 PM

wow ok spell boooks are u guyz satanic or wicca or something

Posted by: matt | Friday May 21, 2010 at 6:19 PM

yeah.. so if dragons exist where are they now if they do plz post a link on here

Posted by: matt | Friday May 21, 2010 at 6:13 PM

What are the phone numbers or addresses of the dragon suppliers?
I'm 11 and I'd like a standard western dragon. I love dragons! As you might not think I'm an advanced dragonologist, but I read all of Dr.Earnest Drakes books. I love them just like yours!

Posted by: Brenna | Thursday May 20, 2010 at 5:28 PM

I have a mushussu! First of all, is the book Dragonology good to learn more about dragons?

Posted by: pepper | Saturday May 15, 2010 at 3:08 PM

hello? anyone there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: gwyneth | Saturday May 15, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Where do you get a miniature dragon? I really want one seriously. Can anybody try to help me get a spell to obtain a dragon? PLease?? By the way I totally believe in dragons.

Posted by: Nina | Saturday April 24, 2010 at 4:51 PM

dragon rider, do you have a dragon egg because I really want a dragon that is able to be ridden and is available for flying to ohio? My Grandfather has 780 acres to keep it in.Thank you,
dragonrider, My email is email me

Posted by: JESSE | Tuesday April 13, 2010 at 6:59 PM

where can u get a musshu????

Posted by: lauren | Wednesday April 7, 2010 at 5:06 PM

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