You can be late for many things in life, but you should never keep an adventure waiting…
In Griselda Bone’s gloomy orphanage, daydreaming is banned, skipping is forbidden and Christmas is well and truly cancelled. But for Phoebe and her sausage dog Herb, is it possible that, just when things seem at their bleakest, magic awaits in the swirling, snow-filled air?
This beautiful story was on my to buy list for Spike from the minute I saw it. Unfortunately she doesn’t share my excitement for amazing authors just yet, so we ended up picking something else every time we were in Waterstones. Despite the amazing dragon on the cover. Spike picked it up every time but also put it back, closing something else every time too. I think its because she saw the excitement in my eyes every time I she picked it up! It doesn’t matter though, because for birthday presents I can buy anything. And it was always going to be on her birthday present list.
We finally got round to reading it a couple of days after her birthday and it was as stunningly beautiful as I thought it would be. Abi Elphinstone is a MG writer who I have loved before. So I knew her words would be magical. Combined with the stunning illustrations by Fiona Woodcock, who we know and love from Poppy and the Blooms, this story takes the reader on such an adventure.
The story follows Phoebe and her sausage dog Herb, which was always bound to win me and Spike over being sausage dog lovers. Who are orphaned in a horrible woman’s orphanage. Phoebe is the last orphan left and is so mistreated by Griselda, I wanted to jump in the book and punch her. Phoebe and Herb are left outside in the snow when they are whisked off on an incredible adventure with the snow dragon. And waiting for them at the end of the adventure is something they have always wished for.
I loved this book, but it did scare Spike a little. She hated the bits with Griselda, especially ‘The Chase’ and got worried about Phoebe and Herb. But loved the ending so much. She is also lucky enough not to know what an orphan is so had to have a few things explained to her.
The book is a little more story than picture book. There are a lot more words that I expected and usually find in books of its kind, but still easy enough to read at bedtime. Spike actually enjoyed it more because it lasted longer too. Its definitely not one for them to learn reading from, but a great book to read together with slightly older children especially.
The Snow Dragon was published in October 2019 by Simon and Schuster. My copy was purchased myself for my daughters 5th birthday.