The Snow Dragon- Abi Elphinstone & Fiona Woodcock

When we won this book from Toppsta I genuinely squealed with delight, this book has been highly anticipated since first hearing about this earlier in the year and the girls were squealing about how pretty and exciting the book was too!

The Snow Dragon is an abridged and beautifully illustrated edition of the short story including in the Winter Magic collection. The story magics up those wonderful festive miracles of hope in such a beautiful way.

Book cover for The Snow Dragon

Phoebe is the last child left in an orphanage run by the awful Griselda and her dog Slobber. Griselda is a Ms Trunchball-like character dedicated to removing all childishness from the country and terrorising the children who do not surrender imagination and hope.

When Phoebe is punished and banished outside in the Snow, Magic descends as the snow falls and an adventure begins.


The mean lady scared me!! I like Herb and the Snow Dragon. A bit scared but I like the pictures!!

The story has all the hallmarks of a classic ‘overcoming’ Middle Grade story but has been cleverly edited to become a Longform picture book. Now that makes me very excited as there is a trend in British publishing that has eschewed long form in favour of short rhyming couplets, this harkens back in a wonderful way to the Judith Kerr and Shirley Hughes type longer picture books of my childhood. And certainly is capable of holding young children’s attention!

The tale of a young despondent orphan who has a festive magical intervention is very emotional (I cried and still get a bit wobbly on the last pages) and speaks to the wild spirit of a child inside adults whilst enchanting children too.

Fiona’s artwork is just so exquisite and incredibly clever. With use of chalky, pastel and spongy textures we get a real sense of snowflakes drifting and whirling and dappling the landscape.


It was WONDERFLIBBLE! I like the fluffy and cloudy drawings. The ending made me so happy, it made me feel like I was having the adventure with her and I can have wonderful adventures too!

Everything about The Snow Dragon is beautiful, the art is outstanding, the story, the words, the emotions, everything about this book is gorgeous and heartfelt and the very very best of Christmas hope and magic distilled into pages.

The Snow Dragon by Abi Elphinstone & Fiona Woodcock is published by Simon & Schuster

Thank you to Toppsta for our copy 💜


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