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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Jealousy can breathe evil, quite literally. That’s what happened in the Kingdom of Quails. King Teddy and Queen Giggles loved their people and traveled amongst them, sharing their stories. When a dragon appears and starts spreading more stories of hope and prosperity, the Kingdom welcomes it in their midst. King Teddy even allows it to occupy a nearby cave. All goes well until the dragon meets the queen. The dragon is instantly jealous of the king’s love for his wife and, at night when no one’s looking, it starts puffing black smoke to cover the land, destroying the crops. The royal couple goes their separate ways in the hope of bringing back prosperity. Will they ever be happy together again? Will the Kingdom of Quails ever recover from the blight of the black smoke?
Dr. Dawn Menge and Judith Mashtalier’s picture book story, Dragon’s Breath, is a classic fairy tale that will teach young readers about jealousy and the evil that drives it. The language is simple so young readers can learn to read along. The illustrations are spectacular and certainly help carry the story forward. Like any good fairy tale, there is an important underlying message that drives the plot. The power of the story is intensified by the fact that the main characters, both protagonists and antagonists, are also storytellers. The dragon’s jealous behavior will be instantly recognized by young readers and they will certainly feel sympathy for the royal couple and the people in the Kingdom of Quails. A beautifully told fairy tale. Loved it.