I'm going to start with a gorgeous picture book, The Snow Dragon written by Vivian French and illustrated by Chris Fisher. Any story about dragons is already a winner with me and this one certainly lives up to the promise of its title. Evul Fire Dragons have taken over the land , in order to prevent a prediciton from Book that a towleg would bring an end to Fire Dragons. The twolegs have been driven underground and there is only one snow dragon left, the Most Royal Snow Dragon who is fast asleep in an ice cave. A young twoleg called Little Tuft finds Book and travels through some very difficult conditions to find the Royal Snow Dragon and beg for her help. His act of selfless bravery persuades the Snow Dragon to help and she flies into the fire that the Fire Dragons rely on for life, killing the evil dragons but giving up her own life at the same time. The twolegs can then return overground and live in peace.
The illustrations are just gorgeous and fully convey the coldness of the Snow Dragon and the heat of the Fire Dragons. I love the fact that Book is an important 'character' and his grumpiness is amusing. I felt a little sad at the end , the death of the Snow Dragon means they are now extinct but this would be a good conversation starter with children about the importance of conservation so that we do not lose animal species. A good one for promoting empathy as well and focussing on kindness towards others and bravery. All in all a delightful read that is sure to be treasured for years to come. (You can see videos of The Snow Dragon on Jackanory here)