Recently, I began a short blog series on the children’s books that had the greatest influence on me. Last week, I talked about The Boxcar Children. This week’s book is My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett. This book focus on a young boy who runs away from home to Wild Island to rescue a baby dragon. A bit like an old-fashioned MacGyver, Elmer takes with him everyday household things like lollipops and rubber bands and uses them to extricate himself from tight situations, such as stowing away on a freighter and taming a lion. I credit almost all of my creative problem-solving skills to My Father’s Dragon. No one does it like Elmer. MFD was the first in a trilogy; the other books are Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland. The books are so good they are still in print. I read them to myself in late elementary school, but they are suitable for reading to smaller children. Adults will enjoy them, too. Next time: Harriet the Spy.