Rereading: GREEN SMOKE by Rosemary Manning

This was in my grade school library, and later I found my own copy. Sue is on holiday at Constantine Bay in Cornwall with her parents. While they sunbathe on the beach, Sue explores over the rocky ridge next to it, and in a small, secluded cove she finds a cave, out of which trails a wisp of green smoke. There’s a large sneeze, and a much larger burst of smoke comes forth. Soon, Sue has met the dragon who lives in the cave, hiding from most people, but willing to talk to Sue. The dragon’s personality makes this story work, he’s a bit vain, a glutton for the buns and other treats that Sue brings him as they get to know each other, and loves to tell stories about his own past, and of people he knew like King Arthur. The stories take up much of the book, and they’re beautifully retold with humor and wonder. Susan and the dragon also go on a few expeditions, one to meet his friend, a mermaid. The dragon has some magic in him, for instance he can magically place notes to Sue under her pillow, and he can fly invisibly with Sue. He’s ashamed of his youth, when he was fierce and ate people, he’s much gentler now. He’s a bit quick to take offense, but he and Sue enjoy a few weeks of stories and adventures in this charming book. There were a few sequels that I remember not liking as well, this one is recommended.

Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning

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