Mythic Stuff

Dragonbreath

Author:  Ursula Vernon

A bit:

“‘So then if you try to come up with fizzy blood, it’s like shaking a can of soda, only inside your body.’  ‘Oooh!  Neat!  Do you explode?'” (p. 63)

Danny Dragonbreath has a lot of problems, only some of which he caused–lunchroom bully, retarded fire breath, and academic laziness are at the top of the list.  He makes some headway to solutions toward these problems in unusual ways and with the help of his iguana pal Wendell, who seems to be the keeper of common sense and caution.  Danny rushes headlong into the crazy, dragging Wendell on an insane deep-sea adventure to do “research” for a school paper.  At school, however, Danny seems to be far less confident and allows himself to be bullied.  The idea behind this seemed to be that, when dealing with the mythic aspects of the world, Danny is a whiz, but the more “real life” stuff is far tougher for him.  I hope this gets explored and clarified more as the series progresses.

What I liked about the story most was the structure–part is told like a chapter book, and part like a graphic novel.  Coming in at 4.0-ish in terms of level, it is a good transition between easy chapter books and more substantial chapter books.  And with plenty of action and silly humor (think killer potato salad and barfing sea cucumbers), this book will appeal to both third and fourth graders.  I plan to purchase  at least the first three in the series for my classroom library.

 

 

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