Dragonbreath (Dragonbreath Series #1)

Dragonbreath (Dragonbreath Series #1)

4.0 51
by Ursula Vernon

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It's not easy for Danny Dragonbreath to be the sole mythical creature in a school for reptiles and amphibians?especially because he can't breathe fire like other dragons (as the school bully loves to remind him). But having a unique family comes in handy sometimes, like when his sea-serpent cousin takes Danny and his best iguana friend on a mindboggling underwater


It's not easy for Danny Dragonbreath to be the sole mythical creature in a school for reptiles and amphibians?especially because he can't breathe fire like other dragons (as the school bully loves to remind him). But having a unique family comes in handy sometimes, like when his sea-serpent cousin takes Danny and his best iguana friend on a mindboggling underwater tour, complete with vomiting sea cucumbers and giant squid. It sure beats reading the encyclopedia to research his ocean report . . .

Using a hybrid of comic-book panels and text, Ursula Vernon introduces an irresistible set of characters with a penchant for getting themselves into sticky situations. It's perfect for both the classroom and fans of Wimpy Kid and Bad Kitty.

Editorial Reviews

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
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)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Dragonbreath Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.70(d)
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years


Meet the Author

Ursula Vernon has written one other middle-grade novel, Nurk: The Strangs, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew, which was selected for Oprah's Book Club Kids Reading List. She lives in Raleigh, NC, where she writes, draws, creates oddities, and is an occasional practictioner of the sword art of iaido.

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Dragonbreath 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
MoonWolf55 More than 1 year ago
Best book good for kids all ages even adults its the mix of a book and comic it will give adults some imagnation to :D highly reccomend :P
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was so funny I laughed so hard!!!!!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Danny Dragonbreath may dream of being a fearsome pirate on the high seas, but in reality, he's just a young dragon - the only mythical creature in an entire school of reptiles and amphibians - who can't even breathe fire yet and spends his days defending himself from bullies and vicious potato salad lunches, before the bullies steal them. He doesn't really know anything about the ocean, either, so when his best friend, Wendell the iguana, refuses to help him pull together a last minute report on the ocean, Danny (who makes up something about "snorkelbats") receives a huge fat "F." Since going to the library and actually doing research is not something Danny would stoop to, he decides to follow his mom's advice and visit his cousin, Edward, a sea serpent who lives in the Sargasso Sea. Poor Wendell gets dragged along for "the fun" of exploding sea cucumbers, sharks, and hostile mermen. The dragon and iguana do manage to learn some neat ocean facts before they come across a giant squid and have to fight for their lives. Will Danny manage to save Wendell from an untimely, tentacle death? More importantly, will he ever get his report finished? Formatted in a tightly woven design that meshes graphic novel with traditional chapter text, this hilarious story is absolutely perfect for the younger male reader who refuses to pick up a book. This is one new series to definitely keep an eye on, with the next book expected in Spring of 2010, and one to be enjoyed by anyone who loves to laugh out loud.
Onomis More than 1 year ago
Book Review Dragon Breath Have you ever felt the thrill of adventure from a book? Well the book Dragon Breath by Ursula Vernon is filled with adventure and comedy. In my opinion this book is a very book interesting and it is also intriguing. Dragon Breath is about a young dragon named Danny Dragonbreath and his best friend Wendell, go on an adventure. There is a catch though, even though all dragons can breathe fire Danny is the only one who can’t! (And Wendell is an iguana)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think all the dragonbreath books are a funny adventure.at my school routh roach, i told my libarian about the book and she got the the booksand everyone loves them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, absorbing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample does not enclude the comic at all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great!! However, if this were longer, i would have given it 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The free sample is STUPID! It never even lets you read the actual book! All it is is the front pages with the copyright and stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Feachering: the potato salid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont get the review. You dont get anything but the agknowlegments
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent read it yet and from previous reviews it looks good if its a funny book READ IT
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was cool but not all comic book if your looking for acomic book dont get it if your looking for a funny book get it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool and crazy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pokemon-jl More than 1 year ago
My son liked this book alot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted to check it out, but the sample hardly had anything! ??? Fortunately the book was great! ? ?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is epic I want to read them all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who doesn't like Danny Dragonbreath?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My sis wants me to hurry up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One book was so funny I was drinking some water and there was one part where it came out of my nose and mouth I will be giving five star