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Age level : 3-7
Educational: Not really, although there are definately some moral lessons in the story.
Story quality: Excellent
When asked to read the bedtime story a couple of times, my husband got the bright idea that he could use You tube and let our son hear someone else read a story - doesnt quite count in my book, but that is how we discovered this story, on You tube from Reading Rainbow.
The main characters are:
Little Tuft a very brave wee "twolegs" who overcomes his own fears in a dangerous quest to bring peace to his people.
Book: a very unlikable book of self fulfilling prophecies with a know it all attitude.
The Snow Dragon: A majestic beast with a kind heart.
The Fire Dragons: Great firebreathing beasts who have waged war on the twolegs forcing them to llive hidden underground.
A long time ago, the world was divided into two halves, the northern hemisphere was ice cold and populated by peaceful snow dragons. The southern hemisphere was fiery hot, and home to the fierce fire dragons.
Only a small strip in between that was neither too hot nor too cold was home to the two legs (humans). Everyone stayed to their own parts of the world, and so their was peace, until Book tells the ruler of the fire dragons that a two leg will cause their demise. So the fire dragons searched out and destroyed the two legs, leaving only a few survivors hidden in caves. In their quest to destroy the two legs they went further and further north, changing the world to a hot dry desert and forcing the snow dragons to retreat deeper into the snow covered mountains until only one remained.
Now Book enters the picture again, found by an orphan twolegs, Little Tuft. Book shows Little Tuft a picture of the last snow dragon and the quest begins. Sometimes book helps Tuft, and shows him the which path to take, othertimes he misleads the boy deliberately. Tuft perseveres through all danger until he finds the snow dragon and persuades her to help.
Now for the end of the story:
The story does have a sad ending. The snow dragon gives her life to destroy the fire dragons and bring peace to the world. The twolegs prosper. Then at the end Little Tuft thinks he sees the shape of the snow dragon in the clouds, and you can see her in the illustration. This gives parents the easy out of saying the snow dragon isnt really dead, she has just changed int a cloud dragon and lives in the sky.