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Great Illustrated Books

Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-wiener (Dragonbreath series)

By Ursula Vernon

Dial, 2010
Pages : 208
Suggested Ages: 8-10
ISBN: 0803734697

Third and maybe wackiest in the Dragonbreath series so far, this hybrid novelette starts with Danny Dragonbreath, in the middle of a scary dream lit by a full moon, where he has a premonition that there is something wrong with his best friend, Wendell, an iguana. At lunchtime in the school cafeteria that day, Danny's overly large and bright red hot dog bites Wendell's finger, which is definitely not a normal occurrence. By the next day, Wendell's finger has turned candy-apple red, and his back is growing hair. Sneaking into the cafeteria's walk-in freezer to investigate, Danny finds an unusual package of hot dogs with the label "Were-Wieners, a product of Transylvania."

Danny and Wendell call the 1-800 number on the hot dog package label, and speak to Reginald at Wurst-R-Us. (My favorite line: Reginald yells out, "Vlad! Another batch of the were-wieners went feral!") Reginald tells them they must find and kill the pack leader, the alpha wurst, with a silver skewer within three days or Wendell will become its minion. A late-night trip to the sewer to release a rogue potato salad, an "ancient enemy of the hot dog," might be their only hope. Witty one-liners and black and green-toned illustrations on every page, often incorporating balloon dialogue, graphic novel style, will keep readers rolling.

Check out the animated webisode at www.penguin.com/Dragonbreath. In addition to werewolves, other extreme adventures Danny and Wendell have faced in the Dragonbreath series include samurai, volcanoes, dangerous frogs, and a giant squid.

Reviewed by : JF.

Themes : FANTASY. GRAPHIC NOVELS. HUMOR. SCHOOLS & SCHOOL STORIES.

If you love this book, then try:

Benton, Jim. The Fran That Time Forgot. Simon & Schuster, 2005. (And others in the Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist series.)

Bolger, Kevin. Zombiekins. Razorbill, 2010.


Holm, Jennifer L., and Matthew Holm. Babymouse: Our Hero. Random House, 2005. (And others in the Babymouse series.)


McMullan, Kate. School!: Adventures at the Harvey N. Trouble Elementary School. Feiwel and Friends, 2010.


Pilkey, Dav. The Adventures of Captain Underpants: An Epic Novel. Scholastic/Blue Sky, 1997. (And others in the Captain Underpants series.)


Stadler, Alexander. Julian Rodriguez: Episode One: Trash Crisis on Earth. Scholastic, 2008.


Vernon, Ursula. Dragonbreath. Dial, 2009.


Vernon, Ursula. Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs. Dial, 2010.


Vernon, Ursula. Dragonbreath: Lair of the Bat Monster. Dial, 2011.


Wight, Eric. Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom. Simon & Schuster, 2009. (And others in the Frankie Pickle series.)

Critics have said

Will leave readers in stitches-- and on tenterhooks waiting for the next one.
Kirkus