The Boy from the Dragon Palace

One day, a poor flower sellers drops his leftover flowers into the sea as a gift for the Dragon King. What does he get in return? A little snot-nosed boy–with the power to grant wishes! Soon the flower seller is rich, but when he forgets the meaning of “thank you,” he loses everything once again. “You just can’t help some humans,” say the snot-nosed little boy and the Dragon King.

  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.50"
  • 9780807575130
  • September 2011

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  • $16.99
  • This item is currently out of stock.
  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.5"
  • 9780807575147
  • September 2018

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  • 9780807592397
  • March 2015

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  • The text is nicely repetitive and includes satisfyingly disgusting nose-blowing effects that children will love. MacDonald’s lively retelling of this folktale is bound to fascinate kids; after all, who can resist a tale with a snot-nosed boy?

    - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

  • MacDonald’s version of this Japanese folktale offers minor grossness and big laughs, with a moral tossed in; Yoshikawa’s digitally enhanced watercolors, correspondingly, go for humor over elegance…Perhaps, the tale suggests, even great wealth is not free of annoyances.

    - Publishers Weekly

  • The author’s choice of words, her syntax, and timing give the story an easy, natural flow…The simplicity of both the text and the illustrations makes this an excellent choice for storytimes and sharing one-on-one.

    - School Library Journal

  • Children, predictably, will enjoy the boy’s snuffling of nose and slurping of soup. Parents will like the parable against greed. And despite the tale’s ick factor, Yoshikawa’s drawings are lovely and adorable.

    - The New York Times

  • A sure-fire hit with primary grades, this would be a lighthearted source of discussion of when enough is enough.

    - Horn Book Magazine

  • There is some real child appeal in the boy’s wish granting, particularly as it involves an elaborate ritual wherein he wipes his snotty nose first on one sleeve, then the other, then blows “HNNNK! HNNNK! HNNNK!,” and those sharing the story aloud will have a particularly good time with this routine.

    - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

  • MacDonald’s retelling of this Japanese folktale is lyrical and the illustrations are lush and a feast for the eyes.

    - Library Media Connection

Awards & Accolades

  • 2012 Storytelling World Award
  • Best Children's Books of the Year 2012, Bank Street College
  • 2011 NYPL 100 Books for Reading and Sharing


Sachiko Yoshikawa

Common Core

RL.K-2.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10 RL.3.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 2.70