by Vernon, Ursula

Danny Dragonbreath and his friend Wendell get an up-close underwater tour of the Sargasso Sea from Danny's sea-serpent cousin, encountering giant squid and mako sharks-and learn about standing up to bullies in the process.

Ursula Vernon is the author of the Dragonbreath series about Danny Dragonbreath. She lives, writes, and draws in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

"Young dragon Danny Dragonbreath has a problem: he can't yet breathe fire. Meanwhile, he just received an F on his report about the ocean and he now has one night to rewrite it. Along with his best friend, Wendell (an iguana), Danny visits Cousin Edward the sea serpent, who takes them on an undersea tour that includes a visit to a coral reef and a trip down to the dark depths of an ocean trench. When a giant squid attacks the two youngsters and tries to eat them, Danny finally finds the motivation to breathe fire (which doesn't work too well underwater). This book follows the same kind of hybrid format as Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid books, interspersing two-color comic-book-style panels (sometimes pages of them) throughout the prose. Young readers will sympathize with Danny as he deals with a bullying komodo dragon and struggles with his fire-breathing problem; they will also sympathize with Wendell as he gets dragged into all kinds of adventures with the fearless Danny." Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

"Vague notions of heroism entered his mind, and then paused, confused by their surroundings." Primed by viewings of Seven Fists of Carnage and like martial-arts fare, impulsive dragonling Danny "That-is-so-COOL!" Dragonbreath isn't exactly ready to charge into action but plunges ahead nonetheless when he and his nerdy buddy Wendell see new exchange student Suki the Salamander in the clutches of real, live ninja frogs. Telling her hilarious tale in a close weave of smart-alecky prose and two-toned cartoons with dialogue balloons, Vernon propels her tailed trio to "mythological Japan" (thanks to an unusually extensive city bus system) for encounters with a magical crane (the feathered kind), a wise but hard-of-hearing old dragon and a hidden fortress full of amphibian ninjas eager to make Suki their Queen. As she'd rather be a veterinarian, the stage is set for a climactic battle. At least as rib-tickling as first outing Dragonbreath (2009), this follow-up leaves the safely returned Danny shrugging off kung-fu to prattle on feverishly about vampires. Stay tuned. (Fantasy. 8-11) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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