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David and the Phoenix

Edward Ormondroyd

Book Overview: 

David knew that one should be prepared for anything when one climbs a mountain, but he never dreamed what he would find that June morning on the mountain ledge. There stood an enormous bird, with a head like an eagle, a neck like a swan, and a scarlet crest. The most astonishing thing was that the bird had an open book on the ground and was reading from it!

This was David’s first sight of the fabulous Phoenix and the beginning of a pleasant and profitable partnership. The Phoenix found a great deal lacking in David’s education — he flunked questions like “How do you tell a true from a false Unicorn?” — and undertook to supplement it with a practical education, an education that would be a preparation for Life. The education had to be combined with offensive and defensive measures against a Scientist who was bent on capturing the Phoenix, but the two projects together involved exciting and hilarious adventures for boy and bird.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The thought gave him a sinking feeling. After all, it was summer—and summer was supposed to be vacation time.

"And what an education it will be!" the Phoenix went on, ignoring his question. "Absolutely without equal! The full benefit of my vast knowledge, plus a number of trips to—"

"Oh, traveling!" said David, suddenly feeling much better. "That's different. Oh, Phoenix, that'll be wonderful! Where will we go?"

"Everywhere, my boy!" said the Phoenix, with an airy wave of its wing. "To all corners of the earth. We shall visit my friends and acquaintances."

"Oh, do you have—"

"Of course, my boy! I am nothing if not a good mixer. My acquaintances (to mention but a few) include Fauns, Dragons, Unicorns, Trolls, Gryffins, Gryffons, Gryffens—"

"Excuse me," David interrupted. "What were those last three, please?"

"Gryffins," explained the Phoenix, "are the small, reddish, friendly ones. Gry. . . Read More

Community Reviews

My mother had saved this book from her own childhood and we loved it just as much. There is something so enticing about a phoenix that never gets old.

You know, I think I've read this book before . . . a long, long time ago (though in the local galaxy).

Even as a child's read-aloud book, it wouldn't be so highly rated today, but for a young reader struggling with sounding out the words the style and repetition is a great learning tool. The pompo...more

I am so glad that "David and the Phoenix" has been republished because my family has fought over our tattered, yellow copy for years. It is a FANTASTIC book. Well-written fantasy. Wonderful imagery. Highly recommended.

A dear friend sent me a 1957 hardback edition of this lovely little book. Savoring it over the week.

Finished last night. Could not put it down, can't believe that I missed this one when I was young. Hoping for grandchildren eventually so that I can read it to them.

This is a fun story, but I would warn parents that there are some questionable parts that may nor be appropriate for younger children.

For example, the word 'stupid' is used several times, as is the reference to someone slitting another's throat. Also, funeral pyres are discussed, as well as elec...more

This story is AMAZINGGGG!!!! What a hidden gem! How is this book not more well known? It's the best thing that I've read in a long while. To think that it's geared towards children... I say that this book is for the whole family to enjoy. It's loaded with adventure, humor, suspense, MYTHICAL CREA...more

A nice fantasy book of the kind that don't seem to be written anymore. Some have made comparisons with Harry Potter, but I don't see that (apart from there being a phoenix). It does have some similarities to The Enormous Egg (with establishment types being the enemy) and even The Phantom Tollboot...more

Other than Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat, this may have been the first book I ever read on my own. It left an indelible impression and would occasionally mentioned in conversations about reading and childhood over the years. Unlike the Seuss, it was what kids nowadays call "a chapter book"--no pictur...more

This is one of my childhood favorites and now I'm reading it to my kids. My copy is seriously old - I think 1960's - and I was THRILLED to discover that it's not only on Goodreads, but there is a sort of small cult following for it!

Do you know the difference between a gryffin, gryffon and a gryff...more

Truly delightful and inspired fantasy adventure. I think that if I'd read this when I was nine or ten years old that it would have been my favorite book. There's a bit of the Peabody and Sherman relationship between David and the Phoenix (and I couldn't tell you which came first). The adventures...more

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