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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

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on 18 February 2003
I first read this book when I was 7 during a holiday, near Padstow, where the tale is set.
It's about a young girl called Susan who meets a wonderful dragon in a cave at Constantine bay, near Padstow. (She is also on holiday, from St.Albans).
The friendship develops and he tells her marvellous stories of Arthur and his knights, of creatures and magical happenings. On one or two occasions the dragon even takes her to meet a friend or two.
The set is presently out of print, which is a great shame. I've just begun reading my copy to my son, who, though 4, loves to hear about dragons.
It may be a little twee for some of the more aggressively developed children of today. But as a tale of friendship it is a delight.
Give up the Gameboy, switch off the PC and pick up a book. If you're a child, you could do worse than this. If you're an adult, it may remind you of how childhood should be, innocence and happiness, without the dreadful woes and horrors that the real world can bring.
In case you're wondering:-
BK1: Green Smoke
BK2: Dragon in danger.
BK3: The dragon's quest. (Best of all, set in Arthurian times).
BK4: Dragon in the harbour.
If you can find them, buy them, at any cost.
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on 11 July 2015
I've recently read this childhood favourite to my son, and hugely enjoyed it once again.

A young girl called Susan is on holiday in Cornwall. She meets and befriends a very civilised - if somewhat touchy - Dragon. The dragon claims to have lived in the days of King Arthur and daily tells her tales from this time, and also about his taming by a saint

I think this was probably my introduction to Arthurian legends - and as such I'm very glad to have read it. I'm not a Stonehenge-visiting King Arthur enthusiast who is waiting for him to come and rescue us again, but the stories are wonderful and an important part of British national mythology and therefore our identity - which is far more important to us than many realise.

Even if you don't go along with me on this, it's a wonderful children's book - I think it's my favourite of that genre
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on 8 November 1998
I have not read "Green Smoke" since I was a child, but having a literate 8-year old son who loves dragon stories, I have been racking my brains to remember the charming story of Susan, a little girl from St Aubyns (Cornwall?), who, in the school holidays, befriends a dragon who breathes not fire, but green smoke.
And this is it.
"Green Smoke" is not a fast-moving adventure story of scaly monsters, but a gentle tale of a unique friendship, and being set in the second half of the 20th century, its message seems to be that, even though times change, children, essentially, do not.
At least, that's how I remember it, from 25 years ago. When I have read it again, I may update the review. It *must* be a good read, because I remember taking it out of the library at least three times...
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on 14 July 2002
This is the first book I read from cover to cover as a child without being told to and I have always remembered the dragon. It was a perfect introduction to reading for 7 to 10 year olds and it's a shame it's so hard to find now. Rosemary Manning really knows how the imagination of little girls works and I was totally immersed in the Arthurian legends she used in the narrative. I would love to read this book again if I could find it. (I am 27 now). I want my children (when they get here) to read this book too.
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HALL OF FAMEon 18 January 2006
I have a son who loves dragon books so much that I've done an amazon list of best dragon books (check out my website, too) but this is the funniest and most charming. Susan is on holiday in Cornwall, and while wandering along the sandy shore she notices a puff of green smoke come out of a cave. It comes from the greedy but toothless R. Dragon whose fondness for biscuits a buns leads to his telling her various stories, ranging from tales of his life in the court of King Arthur to traditional British fairytales, plus a visit to his friend the mermaid, and various other adventures. The humour, short chapters and lovely line-drawings makes this one of the best books with which to introduce a 6-8 year old to the joy of reading alone. The Dragon's Quest is also excellent.
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on 15 March 2010
I have a 6 year old girl who loves merlin and read one of your previous reviews. It made me think she might enjoy the book and she did. Absolutely loved it and we ended up enduring several puppet shows based on the book afterwards! It's quite steady and old-style without being plodding. We live in Cornwall so she could just imagine finding a dragon in one of the caves in beaches near us.
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on 31 January 2001
This book started me off on my way to being a dragon lover, I'm now 23 and read this when I was about 9/10.
Young girl on holiday in Cornwall meets a dragon, this is not ordinary knight eating dragon - well he doesn't eat knights anymore! It's a fun book generally, girl on holiday on her own with parents finds a friend -a _very_ good friend who takes her on adventures ....but she always has to be home for tea !! I share the name with this girl and I wanted to be her!
It's not quite fantasy but it's good to start off with, not a very thick book, but I've read it over and over again.
There's adventures and meeting mermaids, its not king arthurs era although the dragon was apparently around in the days of King Arthur. He's a modern day dragon who doesn't like tourists unless they leave him food.He's very polite and well mannered - a little like winnie the pooh.
It's not an overly long book, but there are two other books that accompany it, another with Susan the girl and one based in the dragon's king arthur days.
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on 12 July 2011
Susan is exploring the beach on her Cornish holiday when she sees a puff of green smoke coming from one of the caves. And so she meets R. Dragon (sneezing from investigating an over-peppered hardboiled egg left by a picnicker).

Sue makes friends with the Dragon by bringing him sugar buns (much nicer than picnic leftovers) and he tells her tales of mermaids, elves, giants and his time at the court of King Arthur. He also takes her stargazing, for a flight over Cornwall and introduces her to some of his magical friends.

A wonderful tale and a reminder of more carefree times when eight year olds could wander off for the afternoon and explore a beach on their own...

I had very fond memories of reading this as a girl so bought for my eight year old daughter who luckily loves it too.

Wish the follow up "Dragon in Danger" was also back in print.
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on 28 October 2008
My mother used to read "Green Smoke" and all the other R Dragon stories to my brother and I at bed-time. The first page of "Green smoke" is one of the best pieces of child-orientated descriptive writing I've seen in a long while.

"I'm for Constantine Bay"!!!!!!!

You've just got to read this book. And if you can't read, then look at the wonderful pictures!
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on 30 November 2012
This book is made up of a series of engaging chapters that each stand alone whilst being part of an overarching theme. We read it from start to finish over several nights as a bed time story but it will also make a good 'dip into' book. Aimed at 6-10 year olds(?)it is well written in accessible grammar and introduces us to some of the folklore of Cornwall (including the death of Arthur) in an age appropriate way via 2 highly sympathetic protagonists (Susan and R. Dragon). Highly recommended.
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