When 4th graders come to me in the school library and want something funny, I am glad to suggest the Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon. It's a fun illustrated novel, with enough of a feel of a comic book to lighten anyone's mood. Best of all, Ursula Vernon really gets what makes kids laugh - gross slime, creepy dark caves, and best friends who need rescuing from all sorts of situations. The latest in this series - Dragonbreath: Lair of the Bat Monster - is sure to please kids who want humor, comics and a dash of adventure.
Ursula Vernon does a terrific job of making kids laugh and squirm at the gross, stinky descriptions, and the friends' snarky banter. But Vernon also works fun science into the mix. I know a lot of kids will think it's pretty cool that Steve is out in the jungle studying bats, trying to find new species. Really, though, what draws kids in and hooks them are Vernon's illustrations. The book is full of bold, two-color drawings in green and black. I especially love Danny and Wendell's oversized, expressive eyes. There are illustrations on nearly every page, some as comic book panels, and others as spot art sprinkled throughout the text.