Dragon Tales Wiki
A Cool School
Season: 1
Production code: 15a
Broadcast number: 15a
Written by:
Cliff Ruby
Elana Lesser
Broadcast Information
PBS Kids Premiere:
October 8, 1999
Paired with
"Max's Comic Adventure"

A Cool School is the first segment of the fifteenth episode of the first season of Dragon Tales.


Max is nervous about his first day of school until Emmy takes him to the School in the Sky where Quetzal advises them, "When you're stuck, don't give up! Try something new."


Emmy enters the playroom with two new backpacks, both of which their father bought for a new school they have been enrolled in. She doesn't see Max at first, but finds him inside a cardboard castle. He explains he's hiding to get out of this new school. When Emmy asks him if he is scared, he says he is, takes the castle off him, and he worries about it being too hard for him. She assures him it will be fun, so he tells her to go then and puts the castle back over him. Emmy convinces him to practice going to school at the School in the Sky instead, so they head for Dragon Land.

In Dragon Land, Cassie arrives at Ord's cave to take him to school. Once the children arrive, they are (naturally) excited to be going to school together. Before leaving, Ord's mother - whom Max remarks as gigantic - approaches with giant footsteps, and wishes him the best at school while handing him his lunchbox that he forgot. The bell rings, and Cassie heads to Zak and Wheezie's knuckerhole to pick them up. They fly out, and Emmy points out that school is about to start.

As other dragon students are arriving, Emmy asks Quetzal for permission for herself and Max to join in for the day. He allows all students, but asks what about their new school at home. Max says he doesn't want to go, and Emmy explains fear being the reason for him wanting to practice here. Quetzal understandingly approves.

In the classroom, he tells the students to put away their lunches in their cubby holes. Cassie shows her cubby to Emmy, while Zak expresses how he likes his cubby nice and neat. Wheezie tosses her lunch into her cubby, kicking up dust that makes Zak coughs up dust from this, remarking that hers is a mess, to which Wheezie takes that as a compliment. Ord tries to put his lunch into his cubby, but apparently, his is too small, so he eats all of his lunch all at once.

Emmy asks Quetzal what they get to do first. He answers with fire-breathing time. Max doesn't know how they'll do that. They take it outside, so as not to burn the schoolhouse or anything in it. He instructs them to take a deep breath, aim at the target, and blow as hard as they can. Cassie fails, as her fire breath is very short-ranged, and that it fizzled out to smoke and sparks. Zak almost succeeds with a longer range, but his breath fades out before it could hit the target. Wheezie breathes out multiple fireballs in one breath that only bounced around and miss. Finally, Ord takes such a big breath that he burns the target down to ashes, much to his own regret. Neither Max nor Emmy knows how, but Emmy tries to emulate...only to accidentally blow a raspberry instead. Wheezie points out that it was gross, but she loved it! Emmy guesses she needs a little more practice. Max, however, complains that he was right about a new school being too hard and says they should go home. Ord tells him that school just started. Cassie tells him he'll miss all the other fun stuff: dancing, singing, and having a snack. Emmy says that when she has a problem at school, she talks to her teacher, so she suggests talking to Quetzal.

Back inside, Quetzal is eating a sandwich, but he listens to Max's problem with breathing fire, as he is only a human boy and not a dragon. Quetzal tells him he can just breathe fire like a boy instead. He then tells Max a saying he uses when something is too hard for him: "When you're stuck, don't give up. Try something new." That doesn't give Max any more knowledge about how to breathe fire, so Quetzal suggests the perfect substitute: try his special salsa. Max dips a tortilla chip in it, and it tastes spicy hot like his abuelita's salsa. Emmy does the same, and she says her mouth is on fire. Because of that, she asks permission to borrow a big bowl of the salsa. He allows it.

Back outside, Emmy tries this substitute, and the dragons cheer. She talks Max into trying the same, as it is only pretend. He does so, and he breathes a big "fire" breath, to which the others cheer. When Emmy asks Cassie what they'll do next, Cassie says it will be flying time. Emmy is excited, but Max knows they (himself and Emmy) can't fly.

Back in the sky, Quetzal instructs the dragons on how to fly, partly by looking up at the sky. They then do loopty-loops. Max points out that they can't fly like that. Emmy tells him that they can pretend and reminds him of Quetzal's saying. Max sits on one of the swings and ends up beginning to swing. He decides it feels like flying, and he and Emmy swing on the swings as a substitute for flying.

Back inside, the gang are building with blocks that look like three kinds of jewels: white, circular pearls, golden, rectangular bricks, and red, triangular rubies. Ord and Max are building a tall tower out of all three kinds, and they knock it down. As school is almost ending for the day, Quetzal tells them it's clean-up time, much to Zak's excitement. Cassie explains to Emmy that they put the blocks away by color. She puts the white pearls in one area, the gold bricks in another, and the red rubies in another still. Emmy, favoring red, too, starts with rubies. Max and Ord toss the blocks into their toy chests basketball-style. Zak and Wheezie fight over a block that Zak had already cleaned twice, but he fears he had missed a spot. Unfortunately, they both accidentally knock over three open cans of paint onto the knocked-over blocks, turning them orange. Cassie worries about how they can put the blocks away by color. Zak points out they can't. Wheezie tries to wash it off by taking water from the fountain and spitting it onto them, but to no avail. Max remembers Quetzal's saying, and has an idea: put them away by the shape. He starts by handing an orange pearl to Cassie, an orange brick to Emmy, and taking an orange ruby, and they throw the respective shapes in their respective chests. Emmy and Ord congratulate Max for the idea. Zak says he always knew they'd find a way, but Wheezie doesn't believe it. Finally, Cassie closes the toy chests. Zak says he thinks they missed a spot, much to the others' dismay. He says he's kidding.

School is over for the day, and Quetzal asks Max if he had fun. He says he had lots, and explained the change in his feelings about school. Quetzal hopes they'll visit again, and then the children leave for home.

Back in the playroom, Max says he's all ready. He still is scared ("maybe a little"), but he knows what to do. Unfortunately, there is a problem: school won't start until the next day.



A Cool School (transcript)

Memorable Quotes[]

  • [Giant footsteps approach]
  • Ord's Mom: Ord?
  • Ord: Yeah, mom?
  • Ord's Mom: Don't forget your lunch.
  • Ord: My lunch? I forgot my lunch? I could've starved to death! Thanks, mom!
  • Ord's Mom: Have fun, little one.
  • [She walks away.]
  • Max: You have the biggest mommy I ever saw!
  • Ord: Yeah, I know.
  • Max: I told you a new school would be too hard. We should go home.
  • Ord: But school just started!
  • Cassie: You'll miss all the other fun stuff!
  • Wheezie: We dance, we sing...
  • Ord: We have snack!
  • Max: I'll never ever breathe fire, because I'm not a dragon. See? No tail. I'm just a boy.
  • Quetzal: So you can breathe fire like a boy, Maxito, not a dragon.
  • Emmy: Yow! My mouth's on fire! On fire? Quetzal, may we borrow a big bowl of your salsa?
  • Quetzal: Of course!
  • Max: Like what? How are we gonna get up high?
  • Cassie: We put all the blocks away by color. The white pearls go here, the gold bricks here, and the red rubies - they're my favorite - go here.
  • Max: If you’re stuck, don’t give up, try something new. I know how to do it. By the shape. Circle for pearls, rectangle for gold, triangle for rubies.

Home Video[]



  • Both when Ord's mother hands Ord his forgotten lunch (or rather, is about to) and tells him not to forget it and when she tells him to have fun and leaves, Emmy and Max are actually facing her. However, without actually being shown turning around before or after this, when Ord takes his lunch, expresses what could have happened, and thanks her, they are inexplicably facing him instead, without ever having been shown turning their bodies to face him, or turning them back to face his mother.
  • When Ord and Max knock down the tower, somehow, they are not hurt while the blocks are falling. In real life, getting hit with falling blocks would have hurt.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • Morals:
    • School may seem scary to try at first, but it's only a matter of knowing how to solve whatever problem comes your way.
    • If trying something the usual way doesn't work, it helps to try a different angle.
  • The episode has been adapted into a storybook titled Quetzal and the Cool School.
  • This episode appears to be one of the earliest ones produced, as many of the characters’ voices are significantly different.
    • Cassie’s voice is more lower pitched, thus being closer to Chantal Strand’s then-natural voice.
    • Ord’s voice is more higher pitched.
    • Zak's voice is not as raspy as it usually is, and a little bit more congested, this also happened in "The Forest of Darkness."
  • Emmy’s line “Hello dragon scale,” is the same line used in "Tails You Lose."
    • In addition, the part where she hands Max the scale and asks “Ready?” would later be used again in "Frog Prints."
  • When Ord had trouble putting his full lunchbox top-side up into his cubby, he could have laid it on its back with the open flap up, and then he would have had room to put it in without eating the contents already. Otherwise, he might have needed to change to a bigger cubby.
  • Near the end of the episode, Zak says the wrong thing, but what he means is, "We cleaned it up," but he never says it, he says, "Just kidding." without it after everyone, with Emmy off-screen scolds him.
  • This is both the second time Ord's mother is shown and the second time Max sees her, the first time being "A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words." Unlike here, Max had not pointed out to Ord (or at all) that the latter had the biggest mommy that the former had ever seen.
  • When Ord and Max are putting the pearls away, they are throwing them in the chest and Ord says “slam dunk!” to which Max replies, “for Air Ord-an” which is a nod to Air Jordan, a nickname given to basketball player Michael Jordan.
  • Speaking of which, the clean-up scene foreshadows "Treasure Hunt." This is because the girls (minus Wheezie) sort out the ruby blocks, not to mention those are Cassie's favorite blocks, and they come in red, Emmy's favorite color; the boys (minus Zak) toss pearl blocks into one of the toy chests basketball-style; and Zak and Wheezie fight over continually cleaning a gold brick block. It is also ironic that when Max decides to sort out the blocks and put them away by shape, he gives the girls (minus Wheezie) a block that is not for them to carry to the Treasure Trove, and he takes one of the rubies.