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Stella Rose and the Sea Dragon

Published on May 13, 2019

Stella Rose and the Sea Dragon, a new children’s book about finding courage

Santa Monica Pier Deputy Director and historian James Harris has written a new book, this time with his daughter Stella. Stella Rose and the Sea Dragon is an allegorical tale about the journey a young person takes when graduating from a small, fun family ride to one of the larger thrill rides at the Pier’s famous amusement park. In May, Pacific Park will host Jim, Stella, and book illustrator Michael Baily at the Park for the book’s official release.

James Harris is the author of Santa Monica Pier: A Century on the Last of the Pleasure Pier, the definitive book chronicling the colorful history of one of Los Angeles’ most beloved landmarks. James has penned this new book with his 10-year old daughter, Stella. The children’s book is about a young girl named Stella Rose and how she gathered the courage to finally ride a “big kid” ride at the Santa Monica Pier while befriending a green Sea Dragon, modeled after Pacific Park’s Sea Dragon ride.

In a special note in the book, James states, “Stella and I conceived of this story over several bedtime discussions about how she could build up the courage to ride the Sea Dragon ride at Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park amusement park. For a long time she had considered the Wave Jumper (speed boats) to be her favorite, but she always had her eye on the ominous dragon, wondering and wishing. When she was eight years old, she finally gathered the nerve to confront and ride the Sea Dragon, and it has been her favorite ride ever since!”

The Sea Dragon was one of the Park’s first rides and quickly became one of the staple attractions at the amusement park thrilling over 50,000 riders every year. The ride is a swinging “ship” ride. It was themed to look like a green sea dragon as homage to the Sea Serpent Roller Coaster from the now defunct Pacific Ocean Park that operated in the late 1950s just a few hundred meters south of where Pacific Park is now.

Stella Rose and the Sea Dragon is illustrated by Michael Baily, designed by Amy Woo and published by Resonant Books, LLC.  The book goes on sale May 23rd and can be purchase at Pier Gear on the Santa Monica Pier or from the publisher’s website, To celebrate the release of the new book Stella Rose and the Sea Dragon, authors James Harris and his daughter Stella, and Illustrator Michael Bailey, will be available for interviews at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier on Wednesday, May 23rd at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Park will also be giving away free rides on the Sea Dragon for anyone who purchases a copy of the book at the release event. Stella Rose and the Sea Dragon will be on sale at Pier Gear on the Santa Monica Pier. Media interested in attending the event or getting more information about the release can contact the Park.