Meanwhile, the three searchers set out on the advice of the professor to seek the advice of a Djinn, whose thousand eyes can see everything. Ben succeeds in fulfilling the Djinn's arcane requirements with the question: Beyond this monastery is the Rim of Heaven. In the monastery, Ben must break the moonlight on the stone dragon's head. The Djinn also gives them a prophecy: Meanwhile, Nettlebrand tracks down Greenbloom, who manages to escape him. Twigleg is discovered but is allowed to stay due to his almost-perfect ability to understand and translate any language.
He has been grown very attached to Ben, and he begins relaying false information to his master, sending him into the middle of a desert, which the monster eventually escapes from. While flying over the ocean, a lunar eclipse occurs and Firedrake who lives off of moonlight , cannot fly. He falls and lands on the back of an initially frightening but amiable sea serpent. She agrees to take the friends to Pakistan, where they will rendezvous with a Dracologist, Zubeida Ghalib.
She alone knows a way to help Firedrake fly without moonlight. Along the way, the Serpent tells them among other things about Nettlebrand and his army of red-eyed Ravens. As the peaceful voyage atop Serpent-back continues, they are spotted by one of Nettlebrand's raven spies. Annoyed, Sorrel throws a stone which she has smeared her adhesive saliva.
The stone sticks to the Raven's wing and sends him panicking to shore. In Pakistan, the friends enter a village where Zubeida the Dracologist is living and also find Professor Greenbloom.
His wife and daughter, Guinevere, have joined him on account of the incident with Nettlebrand. Deeply worried, the two parties compare their findings, which all point to a single grim fact—Nettlebrand is hunting the Dragons who live in the Rim of Heaven, and expects Firedrake to find them for him.
Ghalib reveals a legend of a Dragon Rider who once lived in the village. Ben is his reincarnation, and his destiny is to save the silver dragons from a terrible enemy. No sooner have they heard the legend than two more of Nettlebrand's ravens descend on them. Sorrel attempts the saliva trick again, with one variation: The stones do not adhere, but the Ravens are indeed changed before the eyes of all, into a few crabs.
This new strangeness on the part of Nettlebrand disturbs the searchers, ultimately inducing Twigleg to reveal his original intentions as Nettlebrand's spy. He also reveals Nettlebrand's origin—an alchemist created Nettlebrand as a dragon killing machine to obtain the Dragons' horns which he used in his experiments to create gold. Twigleg, and his eleven other Homunculus brothers, were made as Nettlebrand's caretakers. When the Silver Dragons went into hiding, Nettlebrand killed the alchemist and eventually ate all of Twigleg's brothers, then went hunting on his own. Zubeida shows Firedrake and company not only the tomb of the original Dragon Rider, but also a species of flower which collects moonlight in the form of dewdrops on its leaves.
Having drunk this "moon-dew", Firedrake is able to fly in the daytime.
The two parties split up to lose Nettlebrand's pursuit in the mountains. After a hazardous encounter with a Roc, they are forced off course and must take refuge in a valley. Nettlebrand continues tailing a boat wherein are Professor Greenbloom and his family, knowing they will lead him to Firedrake, but is seen by Guinevere.
In the valley, help comes to Firedrake and company in the form of Lola Graytail, Gilbert's niece. Lola had been cartographing the country for her uncle and she guides them to the monastery. There, they are welcomed by the monks, who look on Firedrake as a bringer of good fortune. Also it is here that Ben "breaks the moonlight" actually a moonstone kept by the monks for this purpose. Ben shatters the moonstone and summons the aid of a four-armed brownie, named Burr-Burr-Chan.
He warns, however, that Firedrake's kin have degenerated into earthbound cowards as a result of hiding from Nettlebrand. Whilst waiting for the moment of departure, the company discover Gravelbeard who was threatened by Nettlebrand into becoming another spy but fail to catch him. They fly on their way swiftly, with Nettlebrand in pursuit. To Twigleg's dismay, in the center of the Rim of Heaven is a great lake, a perfect gateway for Nettlebrand, who can travel instantaneously by water.
To make sure that he is right, Lola takes Twigleg in her miniature airplane to investigate and distract Nettlebrand, while above the others seek the Dragons' cave. There, they meet with a she-Dragon, Maia. She is the only living dragon there, as the other twenty-two have since turned into stone through lack of moonlight.
Outside, Lola and Twigleg find Gravelbeard. In the struggle that follows, the Dwarf's hat which functions as an altitude compensator , is taken by Twigleg. Promptly Gravelbeard is struck with mountain sickness, allowing himself to be taken a prisoner. Nettlebrand, who now knows their location, is coming.
No one knows how they could ever stop him since he is twenty times as strong as one dragon as well as immune to other dragons' firepower. In disgust, Sorrel spits on the golden scale which the Professor gave to Ben.
Inspired by his success with the Ravens, Firedrake breathes fire on it and reduces it to gold paint. Twigleg comes up with a plan. He frees Gravelbeard and sends him back to Nettlebrand. The Golden One, elated by upcoming success, orders the Dwarf to polish his armor. Unfortunately for Nettlebrand, the armor polish has been replaced with Brownie spit.
Nettlebrand enters the cave, and is at once dive-bombed by Firedrake, Maia, and Lola in her plane. At last, the Dragons come together and set Nettlebrand afire. The dragons mum is under a demon spell and no matter how hard the dragon tire he cannot wake her.
Tashi is back, but this time he stars in a picture book. The legend states that once a year the dragon will send smoke and thunder down the mountain and then the rain would follow. The Nine-Dragon Wall is a spirit wall with images of nine different dragons, and is found in imperial Chinese palaces and gardens. His wife and daughter, Guinevere, have joined him on account of the incident with Nettlebrand. A first glance at this book alerts you to a wonderful story to come.
Tashi and the dragon need to work together to help each other. This is a great book about helping others and making friends. As a class we made our own dragons and displayed them in the class room. We also brainstormed ideas about helping other people in need in our community and how important helping others can be. I would recommend this story for children aged 4 and up.
A first glance at this book alerts you to a wonderful story to come. Opening the cover to reveal the lusciously illustrated end-papers had this reader deliberating whether to further savour the richness of the pictures or whether to be getting on with reading the story. The title page too gives more hints of the village setting and so we turn the page to meet Tashi and his Grandmother pondering about the dragon who lived over the mountain and far away.
The concept of drought needing rains to restore the landscape is one that most young readers would know from their own life experiences, and this point could be the basis of discussion even before introducing this wonderful Tashi story. The sheer pleasure of being engrossed in an imaginative and well-written story is enough reason for this book to be incorporated into an early child years classroom. This special book lends itself to a number of concepts and language structures for further exploration by the developing reader.
Drought, journeys, local landscape, stories that Tashi is familiar with, family; and then the language to convey past-tense, direct speech, adjectives, similes, - all of which contribute to the climax of the story, even after meeting the dragon who ate his own sister! Here is another Tashi adventure, written by the Fienbergs and beautifully illustrated by Kim Gamble. One day Tashi learns about how the dragons living on the mountain usually bring the rains.
However, this year the rains have not come.
The tiger takes Tashi up the mountain to meet the lonely young dragon. Tashi encourages the young dragon to sing a song which wakes the old dragon. The old dragon then shows her children how to use dragon words to make rain. This is how Tashi is involved in breaking the drought and bringing rain to his home village. This would be a delightful story to read to Grade students as part of a unit on dragons, legends, weather or traditional Asian lifestyles.
For example, the endpapers at the front of the book contain a wealth of detail about how the local people feed themselves, fishing or cultivating fields, using animals to plough the ground or to travel. Alternatively, you could create other legends to explain how thunder is made, or a rainbow. Using the Australian context, students could may draw what a drought looks like and compare this with a picture of what it is like after the rains have come.
As a fan of Tashi, I was looking forward to reading this book. The first thing to grab your attention is the illustrations: This story sees Tashi off on an adventure to meet a fierce dragon to enable the rains to fall again. The crops are dying and the animals are thirsty.
While helping a thirsty tiger, Tashi finds out that the old dragon is not the problem it is a young dragon. Tashi sets out to see if he can convince the dragon to send rain. He finds a young dragon that is very sad.
I have used this book as an example for my year six class when writing picture books for younger readers. It has a good story line, is descriptive in language that it uses and has beautiful illustrations. Recommend for lower primary as a read out loud and middle primary could read themselves. As I have, you can use for upper school as well. Tashi is back, but this time he stars in a picture book. Tashi had never seen the dragon but his Grandmother had told him many stories of the dragon that lived over the mountains and was responsible for the annual rainfall.
The creeks dried up, the rice crop failed and the earth turned to dust. A solution had to be found, or the village would face starvation. Tashi displayed bravery and creative thinking and soon the rains fell again. This story is about overcoming challenges and suitable for aged five to nine children. Claire Cheeseman, Laingholm Primary. What fun to have another full-colour picture book about quick-witted little Tashi!