Dragonbreath (Dragonbreath Series #1)

Dragonbreath (Dragonbreath Series #1)

4.0 51
by Ursula Vernon
     
 

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Danny Dragonbreath can't breathe fire, but he has no fear. And that comes in handy when a bad grade at school inspires him to enlist his cousin the sea-serpent's help with a research project. Using a hybrid of comic-book panels and text, Ursula Vernon introduces an irresistible set of characters that will have readers laughing until smoke comes out of their noses!See more details below

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Overview

Danny Dragonbreath can't breathe fire, but he has no fear. And that comes in handy when a bad grade at school inspires him to enlist his cousin the sea-serpent's help with a research project. Using a hybrid of comic-book panels and text, Ursula Vernon introduces an irresistible set of characters that will have readers laughing until smoke comes out of their noses!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Vernon's (Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a Somewhat Brave Shrew) fiction/graphic novel hybrid stars an audacious young dragon who can't get the knack of breathing fire. After Danny Dragonbreath gets an F on his science paper about the ocean-written at the last-minute on the school bus and describing "the rare and elusive snorkelbat"-his teacher tells him to rewrite it. To research the topic, Danny and his pal Wendell, a timid iguana, head for the Sargasso Sea. Guided by Danny's sea serpent cousin, Edward, the two encounter creatures like an octopus that can become polka-dotted or striped, "mermen" guarding Atlantis and a vampire squid that emits "a cloud of glowing snot." (They also learn about the bends, which Edward equates to "shaking a can of soda, only inside your body.") Illustrated with comic book-style art with a lime-green wash, the story gets some spark from wry asides presented in speech balloons ("Why couldn't you have gone to the library instead?" wails Wendell as a giant squid approaches). But scattered amusing snippets don't quite keep the tale afloat. Ages 8-12.
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School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Danny Dragonbreath feels like a loser in more ways than one. No matter how hard he tries, he can't muster up even one lukewarm dragon's breath. Now he's in trouble with his teacher at the Herpitax-Phibbias School for Reptiles and Amphibians. He handed in a carelessly written paper on the ocean and received a well-deserved F. Now he must rewrite the paper. To research the topic he talks to his cousin, a sea serpent. Along with Danny's iguana friend, Wendell, Edward takes them on an underwater adventure to the Sargasso Sea. The adventure becomes life-threatening when Danny and Wendell are attacked by a giant squid. Danny must save his friend and does so with a long-awaited fire breath. Not only is Danny a hero but he gets an A on his re-submitted paper. The exchanges between the less-adventurous and nervous Wendell and nonchalant Danny make this a laugh-out-loud read. The text is generously illustrated with engaging, comic-book style cartoons in green, black, and white, many full page and others that cover several spreads. This humorous adventure story will appeal to reluctant readers and children seeking early chapter books.—Tina Martin, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Young everydragon Danny Dragonbreath hasn't quite caught the knack of breathing fire yet, but he sure knows how to have adventures-or at least to inflict them on Wendell, his peace-loving iguana buddy. Having failed to impress his teacher Mr. Smaug with a hastily concocted report on the fictitious "snorkelbat," Danny recklessly drags Wendell off to the Sargasso Sea (on a bus) to gather material on actual marine life with the help of his cousin Edward, a sea serpent. Encounters with a shark, poisonous jellyfish, vampire squid ("Instead of ink, they shoot a cloud of glowing snot at you." "Glowing snot? That is SO COOL!") and an aggressive giant squid ensue. Vernon's text abets the suspension of disbelief with Wendell's dubious regard for the mythological: "He had somehow maintained a fairly solid grip on reality despite being Danny's friend, but there were limits." Presented in a hybrid prose/graphic format with simply drawn, two-tone pictures in an appropriately reptilian green, Danny D's first outing will leave readers in stitches-and on tenterhooks waiting for the next one, which, according to a preview, will feature ninja frogs. (Fantasy. 8-11)
Children's Literature - Norah Piehl
Danny Dragonbreath just cannot breathe fire, no matter how much he practices. His parents are disappointed in him, and the kids at school just cannot relate. Danny is the only dragon at the Herpitax-Phibbias School for Reptiles and Amphibians, and the other kids—especially a tough gang of salamanders, chameleons, and Komodo dragons—think Danny's not a real dragon because he cannot breathe fire. Meanwhile, Danny is in danger of failing science after he turns a science paper into a creative writing project. To improve his grade, he and his best friend, the iguana Wendell, take a field trip to the Sargasso Sea, where they get a tour of the ocean from Danny's cousin, a sea serpent. Encounters with real and mythical sea creatures boost Danny's grades and his courage—if not his firepower. This first entry in a new series is perhaps overly ambitious, trying to tackle issues of bullying and parental aspirations amid fantasies about pirates, real-life facts about reptiles and sea creatures, and bizarre scenes of predatory school lunches. The blend of traditional text with comic-book-style panels helps add visual and comic interest to this somewhat disjointed tale. Reviewer: Norah Piehl

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142420959
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
09/13/2012
Series:
Dragonbreath Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
155,058
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 6.86(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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