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Dragonbreath Hardcover – June 11, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Series: Dragonbreath (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (June 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803733631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803733633
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Ursula Vernon is the author and illustrator of "Nurk," "Digger," "Dragonbreath" and a number of other projects. The daughter of an artist, she spent her youth attempting to rebel and become a scientist, but eventually succumbed to the siren song of paint (although not before getting a degree in anthropology, because life isn't complete without student loans, right?). Her work has been nominated for an Eisner award, "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" and a number of Webcomics Choice Awards. Her comic "Digger" won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story in 2012, and her children's book "Dragonbreath" won the Sequoyah Award in 2013.

Ursula grew up in Oregon and Arizona, went to college at Macalester College in Minnesota, and stayed there for ten years, until she finally learned to drive in deep snow and was obligated to leave the state.

Having moved across the country several times, she eventually settled in Pittsboro, North Carolina, where she works full-time as an artist, writer, and creator of oddities. She lives with her boyfriend, his beagle, a small collection of cats, and a large collection of Indonesian masks, all of which mostly contrive to keep her out of trouble.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book series is awesome for him because he can read it, but it is still age appropriate as well!
Jillian M. Baker
I found DRAGONBREATH to be a very cute and entertaining story, yet it also had parts that were actually educational.
Julie Peterson
This was the first chapter book that my youngest read entirely...and he read it cover to cover in one day.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. M. McCafferty on June 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Dragonbreath" is an amusing story that combines witty text and wonderful artwork in the same style that Ursula Vernon employs in her "Digger" series. From predatory potato salad ("A school of potato salad can skeletonize a cow in under two weeks, assuming that the cow doesn't get bored and move...") to burly mermen from Atlantis and vain luminescent deep sea creatures ("Hey! DO I come up to the surface and make fun of your looks?"), this book presents a host of very likeable, bizarre characters. The two main characters, Danny and Wendell, find themselves in enough trouble to keep the story moving along nicely. My nine-year-old and I give it five stars, and we look forward to the next story in the series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By shopper off the mainland on January 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son read this and said "mom can we get more of these?" He has been a reluctant reader so we encourage him to read anything that interests him. He's 10 so it may have been a bit easy for him but he really liked it. We will get the rest of this series.
I chose this book because I was getting a variety of books to peak his interest. This was the first one he chose to read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer M. Mann on June 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ursula Vernon is a favorite, so I had this ordered on pre-order and knew I'd enjoy it. But once it arrived, I was completely smitten by the snorklebats and vicious rogue potato salad.

A delightful story for kids and adults who are still kids at heart. And it's even a wee-bit educational.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jillian M. Baker on June 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son is 8 and is not the best reader but loves books. He wants to read books on his interest level and that are cool. They can be very hard to find. This book series is awesome for him because he can read it, but it is still age appropriate as well! Fun illustrations & stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stacey D. Shull on March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well my Son is a Big Nate fan, he has all, but the new one is not out yet so he wanted to try this book. He loves it..cracks up at the funny parts and loves the art work...he would like to get more of these when he is done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Krista Kay Jordan on January 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My son is not much into reading and for years I have trying to get him to fall in love with reading. I was so glad to find this series. Perfect to make an eight year old boy see how fun and interesting reading a book can be.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By EJP on May 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like so many other books on Amazon, it came up when I searched for graphic novels for kids and the first image in Look Inside is a comic book panel but the vast majority of the book is straight text (with some sparse illustrations). The story is cute, but I'm trying to encourage my daughter to read more on her own and have had great success with the Stonekeeper series so I wanted a comic book and this isn't it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Julie Peterson on July 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Since I have a nine-year old daughter, I'm always anxious to see what's new in Middle Grade books. The latest book that I've read is DRAGONBREATH written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon. I'm not sure that I'm the best judge of middle-grade books because they aren't really geared towards me, but I have to say that I really liked DRAGONBREATH. I thought the characters were cute, the story was interesting, and the book was really funny -- I think it's just perfect for middle grade readers!

What I really liked about this book was that it was a mix of a comic book and a regular old book. I think the comic panels are very well done, and kids are going to really like switching between the pictures and the normal text. I thought the drawings definitely enhanced the fantasy aspect of the story, and I loved the pictures of the characters on their under-sea adventure. Even the most reluctant of readers should appreciate this story given that it has many comic panels and fairly large text.

I found DRAGONBREATH to be a very cute and entertaining story, yet it also had parts that were actually educational. I think kids will not only laugh a lot at this story and the characters (namely Wendell whom I found to be just adorable), but they will also love the bits of science that are thrown in. I especially enjoyed reading about Danny and Wendell's tour of the ocean and also learning about the various sea creatures. I also liked that the author included some positive messages about bullying, self-confidence, and perseverence.

DRAGONBREATH is the first book in a series, and I wouldn't hesitate to read more stories about Danny and his crazy adventures.
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