William the Dragon

Category : book

I have this book that I’ve been carting around since I was little; William the Dragon, by Polly Donnison, who according to the back of the book, is fourteen and has three brothers and an older sister.

It’s about a spoiled dragon adopted by one Lady Wilmount, who has a fantastic flair for fashion.

Though not everyone appreciates it. William likes roast potatoes and jumble sales, and dislikes loud sweaters.

You know how you get attached to books for vague reasons, and only half-remember what happens in them? This is that kind of book. I haven’t looked at it for years and years, but I’ve brought it with me across the country and back, and through three Brooklyn apartments. Is it the sweater?


Comments (21)


This is still a regular favorite at bedtime for my kiddies. I think it is the sweater.

January 12, 2011 - 2:26 pm

This is amazing. My mother is Polly Donnison, and to her this book is a distant memory.

Nice to hear its still loved.

April 1, 2011 - 4:07 pm

    Well, I’ll be! I love this book, please tell your mother thank you!

    April 1, 2011 - 6:15 pm

    This was one of my favourite books as a child as well. Same went for my sister.

    Mark, from canada

    July 20, 2011 - 4:34 pm

    Ruth – William the Dragon was almost loved to death by my four children. We brought it from England to Canada when we moved and I read it to many of the children I taught. It disappeared and I spent a small fortune getting a used book online – dirty, smelly but still, it was William. This was the favorite birthday present for my then 35 year old son. Now I just found out that there was a sequel. More William stories! Two things please – is your mother still writing and do you (or anybody else) have an idea of where I can get hold of the other stories? Amazon isn’t being productive. Please convey our great affection for William to your mother.

    October 1, 2012 - 8:27 pm
    G Adnitt

    I love this book! It’s been my warm comfort through four decades and three cities. Best wishes to your mother, and to you!

    January 13, 2016 - 8:10 am

    This was my absolute favourite book! I’m really sad that I didn’t keep it. Please let your Mum know, it brought me so much happiness!

    August 3, 2020 - 4:43 pm

      it was the Christmas roast potatoes that reminded me of William just now! I went to search online, found this and have just ordered a second hand copy online! If you’re still following this, Ruth, please do pass on fond love for William :-). I’m an author now with award-winning novels under my belt but still love thinking about William the Dragon.

      December 26, 2020 - 4:18 pm

        I’ve been trying to find the story of William and The Roast Potatoes for YEARS! Please, which book has this particular story?

        February 9, 2024 - 2:41 pm

    Hi Ruth, thank you so much for your comment and please tell your mother thank you for her wonderful book! When I was a little boy of four or five years, it loved this book very very much (in the German translation as “Willibald der Drache”), so much that I took it one day with me to the kindergarten to show it to the other children… and there it was lost, perhaps someone took it away. I was so sad and always missed the green dragon, remembered all the time his baked potatoes and his gentle character and never forgot him. Thanks to the internet, I found it as a rebuy after 40 years and was very touched! Kind regards from Germany!

    August 16, 2021 - 1:05 am
    wilma gilmour

    I wish you could organise a reprint of the book as there are no copies to be had at an affordable price sadly. Such a great book. I too read it to my children in the 80s and it was one of my favourites. Loves the illustrations.

    March 1, 2024 - 8:17 pm
    Wilma Gilmour

    Hi Ruth
    I was looking for a second hand copy of William the Dragon, having mislaid the copy I bought 40 years ago which I read many times with my three children. I now have grandchildren. In the course of looking for a copy I came across this blog. I see the last comment was 2011… 13 years ago! Such a wonderful story with fabulous illustrations and I think it would be as popular as ever if it was available. There are very few second hand copies to buy. I wonder whether your mother (who I’m guessing will be about the same age as me) has ever considered having the book reprinted? I’m not sure how this blog works and if my comment will be picked up and passed on to you but if it is I’d be interested to know your response. And like another contributor please thank your mother for the immense pleasure she gave my children and to me.

    March 4, 2024 - 11:22 pm

I think it’s time for a reissue and a book tour! My kids both have loved this book. We only have Volume 1, and I have no idea where we got it. Now we’ll look for volume 2!

May 23, 2012 - 9:49 pm

    Agree! It’s a classic!

    June 1, 2012 - 2:44 pm

      Funny I’m 42 years old and this story book popped into my mind today and i have never forgotten it i first read it in the seventies Iwant to get this book for my son!

      July 19, 2012 - 10:36 am
Joe Boyle

I’ve just tonight read this to my 7 year old daughter on a visit to my parent’s house, having found my old copy of the book in a pile in my old bedroom. We compared favourite pictures and both agreed the plate of roast potatoes was the best of all.

February 11, 2013 - 5:30 pm
Alix Shepherd

Mabel in the story is my Grandmother Mabel Crook. We have this book signed from Polly to my Grandmother. It’s now my daughter’s book. It’s her favourite and she is taking it for world book day next week.

February 24, 2015 - 7:06 pm

I have a granddad called Bill and another called Wilfred – they both thought I was named after them.
I didn’t have the heart to tell them that my older sister named me after the roast potatoe loving dragon in this story.

August 18, 2015 - 10:12 am

William the Dragon was my favourite book as a child. I’d mentioned it to my boyfriend a while ago and lo and behold the first present I opened on Christmas day was a perfect copy of the book. The best surprise ever! I read it Christmas morning and it was just how I remembered, absolutely brilliant. I love the story, I love the illustration, I love everything about it. I can’t wait to read it to my children (40 years on from when I read it). They are just at the right age, 7 and 9.

December 28, 2016 - 11:49 am
Victor Catano

So odd what we remember. I had literally not thought about this book in decades, but tonight we had some really excellent rosemary roasted potatoes, and that triggered a memory. “Wasn’t there a book about a dragon that loved roasted potatoes?” Mom vaguely remembered it as well, and she managed to find this site. Thanks for the trip back to my childhood!

May 10, 2021 - 12:01 am
Matthew Bell

It’s so wonderful to find other fans of this terrific book! It’s a treasured part of my childhood and reading these comments prompted me to find (and buy) the second volume.
Thanks all!

February 4, 2023 - 9:12 pm

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