How did I get it: The library.
Why did I get it: A friend of mine won’t stop babbling about Ursula Vernon’s artwork so I decided to check out her children’s books. They looked less bizarre.
How would I rate it: 4 out of 5 stars.
Danny Dragonbreath finds it to be a bit difficult at school where he’s the only mythical creature. His other problems involve learning to breath fire like his parents, being bullied by a komodo dragon named Big Eddy, and writing a paper on the Ocean that Mr. Snaug won’t give him an F on.
Danny rarely lets anything get him down for long and soon plotting his next great adventure with the assistance of his reluctant but loyal iguna friend Wendell. But, as Wendell points out, Danny still has a paper to write and he’s running out of time!
Luckily enough Danny’s mother reminds them that Cousin Edward lives in the Sargasso Sea. By paying the sea serpent a visit and using some minty fresh Breath Mints both Danny and Wendell get to see the Ocean and all its wonders. And its dangers too.
This is not a book for people who need explanations or things to make a lot of sense because this book really has no end of strange, whimsical things in it including a sentient and quite disgruntled potato salad.
I am not a person who needs books to make a lot of sense, and so I was really amused by the book as a whole (despite being slightly baffled by the potato salad, its eagerness to stab Big Eddy with a plastic fork, and its eventual migration down into the sewers.).
Quirkiness aside, the story isn’t all that complicated and often is told through a series of comic panels that work really well to add to the uniqueness of Danny Dragonbreath and his world.
Danny is immensely likable and comical, lacking any sense of fear or common sense and making it up for it with a remarkable imagination. He’s also balanced out by somewhat nerdy Wendell who remains forever practical and overwhelmed, wishing that they’d just gone to do some research at the library instead. (As you can imagine I liked Wendell quite a bit.)
Overall, this is definitely a book that will appeal to reluctant readers, but is satisfying enough for a teen or even an adult who likes dragons, igunas, sea serpents, and underwater escapades. Honestly, who doesn’t like those things?
Happily there are two additional books of Danny and Wendell’s adventures available: Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs and Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-weiner. True to form, I already have both of them checked out from my library.