The Snow Dragon by Vivian French


The Snow Dragon by Vivian French

When the power-crazy Most Royal of Fire Dragons decides he wants to rule not only his own hot southern kingdom but also the icy wastes of the Snow Dragons' northern territory, catastrophe occurs. The Fire Dragon ignores the warning from the powerful Book that Twolegs will eventually destroy his kind, and sets out crisping and frazzling the world. Little Tuft, a Twoleg, can't ignore the warning and enlists the help of the last remaining Snow Dragon in a thrilling and magical quest to save the world from burning up...An entrancing story, lyrically told and gorgeously illustrated, which will be appreciated on a variety of levels by children from pre-school to 8-year-olds and older.


Ideal for reading aloud, this is an epic tale of triumph over evil, presented amidst rolling artwork in which the inspired use of perspective emphasises the enormous task facing the central character, the endearing Twoleg, Little Tuft. Recommended Scotsman Vivian French's delightful picture book is a masterful modern fairy tale ... Young children will be captivated by both the story and the pictures and will delight in having this book read to them again and again

'Happening'. From then on the Fire Dragons made the Twolegs'

'Second Happening', and finally order is restored. This is a completely magical tale of good against evil in which the sum of the pictures and text adds up to more than the whole, to create an exquisite book. (6-9 yrs) (Kirkus UK)'

About the Author

Vivian French

Vivian French is an acclaimed children's author who has written over forty picture books for Walker. Her non-fiction titles include Yucky Worms, Growing Frogs and T. Rex in the Nature Storybooks series and she has written numerous retellings of fairytales and folktales as well as the Stargirl Academy series. Vivian teaches on the illustration course at Edinburgh School of Art and is beginning a PhD on picture books at Newcastle University. Vivian lives in Edinburgh.

Vivian French - as a child

Vivian doesn't remember her schooldays with any affection at all. "I had a nightmarish imagination," she says, "and I could always see exactly how things could go wrong. I ended up scared of everything - games, teachers, lessons - and I was always sick on Sunday nights if there was school the next day. My best times were when I went to stay with my grandparents; they had a huge garden, and I lived a blissfully happy fantasy life in among the trees."

As an adult

Vivian's first job ever was at the National Book League (now BookTrust) where she was always reading children's books. She left to have her first daughter, then joined a travelling theatre company. "My whole life changed," she says. "I loved the acting, and I loved touring. I began to write plays for us to perform, but it never occurred to me to write stories.

As an artist

Vivian has written dozens of books on all subjects and for all ages, including the board book Lullaby Lion, the picture book Polly’s Pink Pyjamas, the non-fiction picture books Yukky Worms, Chocolate and Caterpillar Butterfly, (shortlisted for the 1993 Kurt Maschler award), the fabulous comic fantasy series Tales from the Five Kingdoms and six first experience books about the Buttons family (publishing in 2012). She says, "I like to move between picture books and teenage angst, between fiction and non-fiction, between retellings and new ideas. Someone wise once told me that it's all right to be a free wheeler (at the time I was earnestly searching for a defining label) and I'm happy with that.

Vivian has been writer-in-residence at libraries, schools and festivals, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Wordplay, Swansea. She was a regular reviewer for The Guardian for six years, and travels all around the world swapping and sharing ideas with children and adults.

Things you didn't know about Vivian French

1. When she was little she had an imaginary lion called Jesus.

2. She is absolutely no good at cooking at all; all she can make is macaroni cheese.

3. She's written three books under the name of Louis Catt - her cat's called Louis.

4. She once got muddled and told a school that she had five daughters instead of four, and had to make up a whole story about the extra daughter.

5. She hates mince pies, and beetroot with vinegar on it.

6. Her favourite journey is the number 22 bus route in Edinburgh; it trundles along beside the Water of Leith and takes her home.

7. She really likes cars, and would LOVE to have a Mark One Ford Cortina (she used to have one but it fell apart.) If anyone's got one going spare, please send it c/o Walker Books.

8. She is rather nervous of cows, especially when they stare at her.

9. Her favourite food is mango sorbet. Or raspberries. Or both together.

10. She is usually hopeful.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 5


Vivian French
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Author's Website


Publication date

2nd November 2000



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