Friday, May 4, 2012


Dragonbreath (Dragonbreath #1)
Ursula Vernon
Dial, 2009
$12.99, Hardcover
April 5th, 2012

Genre: Fantasy
Age: 6+
Description: Fourth grader Danny Dragonbreath has it tough—he is the only mythological creature (a dragon) at his school for reptiles and amphibians and to make matters worse he can’t breathe fire yet. When he puts no effort into a science paper on the ocean his teacher gives him an F and allows him the chance to rewrite it. Danny convinces his iguana best friend, Wendell, to help him and the boys go visit Danny’s cousin Edward who happens to be a sea serpent who lives in the Sargasso Sea. Once there, Edward gives the boys “breath mints” which allow them to breathe underwater and he introduces them to many underwater sites, including how scuba divers can get the bends, a coral reef, puffer fish, octopus, mako sharks, and a sea cucumber who happens to puke all over Wendell. On the way to the deep bottom of the sea the boys see the Lost City of Atlantis (which wants to stay lost), investigate a sunken ship, run across a pack of jellyfish, meet an angler fish, and nearly get devoured by a kraken until Edward’s friend Eee!aee! (click) ee’ e’aiiee (click) (which means “eats-a-lot-of-squid), a large whale, scares the kraken off. Danny now knows enough information to write an awesome paper!
Opinion: First in the Dragonbreath series, this book combines normal narrative fiction with graphic novel elements as many passages (especially the action scenes) are rendered in comic book style. Danny is a cute little dragon and Wendell is a sarcastic, pessimistic iguana who somehow finds himself dragged along on Danny’s adventures. Lots of readers will get a kick out of this fun story (and can learn a thing or two about the ocean along the way). This is great for all ages, genders, and types of readers. The art is partially black and white with splashes of sea green. 

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