Why, yes. Yes, it does. This is a very good book, indeed.
The ending of the plot is a trifle weak, in that the combination of brownie spit and dragonfire should presumably have been tried before, since we know that brownies and dragons are close companions. On the other hand, it's plausible that some brownie and dragon combination had, in fact, thought of it, but was unable to pull it off, and died before passing along the idea. The specific trick of making Nettlebrand polish his scales with brownie spit would not, I think, have worked while Twigleg was serving him, and was dependent at least somewhat on the ambivalence of the dwarf servant that replaced him. So that's all right.
And even if the plotting at that point has some weakness, the rest of the plotting is fine, and is swift enough to coast through those parts that are less than fine. And it's well written (and presumably well-translated) and all, so that's all right, Best Beloved, do you see?
We have begun Ms. Funke's Igraine the Brave as a Bedtime Book for the Perfect Non-Reader. We are two chapters in, and it may be even better than Dragon Rider, despite the talking cat.
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,