Dragonbreath #8: Nightmare of the Iguana

by Ursula Vernon | Children's Books |
ISBN: 9780803738461 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 10/16/2020
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, October 16, 2020
I got this hardcover from an online seller. It's from a children's fantasy series by Ursula Vernon (aka T. Kingfisher), whose work I've enjoyed (see Digger, a comic about a feisty wombat and her adventures in a strange underground world, and Jackalope Wives, stories set in a kind of mystical American-West surrogate).

I first encountered this series via Lair of the Bat Monster, the 4th book, and enjoyed it so much I wanted more. The series is aimed at younger readers, and is set in a world of anthropomorphic animals who live like humans in a '50s suburb, more or less - and who occasionally refer to the "other" animals, the ones that don't talk and don't wear clothes (and who thus can become food, or - sometimes - can try to devour the main characters {wry grin}). Danny, our hero, is a young dragon; his best friend Wendell is an iquana. Danny is imaginative to a sometimes-reckless degree, while Wendell is the voice of reason (and/or cowardice) - a good balance, except that Danny usually drags Wendell into his schemes.

Here, it's actually Wendell who kicks off the plot: he's been having increasingly bad nightmares ("it was... the test he hadn't studied for!!!"), such that he's losing sleep and even (gasp!) getting an A-minus on tests he'd usually get A-pluses on. He's so desperate he phones Danny's Great-Grandad Dragonbreath (who thinks Wendell's name is "Wanda" - never mind) and learns that there are three different beings that might be interfering with his dreams. (The illustration of these is pretty darned scary, especially the Sandmen.)

Danny and Wendell follow Great-Grandad's advice about searching for clues as to what's behind the dreams, and find hints that it's about as bad as it can get - so they decide to go visit Great-Grandad in person.They're going to take the bus, although "...there was the slight problem that he lived in mythical Japan"; luckily, "buses just plain worked differently when Danny was riding on them," so they get there in good order. Great-Grandad sends them (and visiting relative Suki, a salamander - and a crush of Wendell's) on a quest to find a baku - I was tickled to recognize the name as I'd read manga about the Japanese "dream eater" - to help battle the nightmare-causing creatures.

The baku scenes are utterly adorable, which is good, because once Danny, Suki and their new baku friend get into the dreamworld inside Wendell's head, things get very scary. (And funny/sad, when we see that some of Wendell's nightmares center on his overly-controlling mother's pronouncements.) And when they confront the Big Bad, it's touch-and-go for a bit - until the baku shows its true mettle. (It. Is. AWESOME.)

Another funny/sweet/scary episode in this series!

[There's a TV Tropes page on Vernon and her work.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Carpenter St. in Salem, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Released 1 mo ago (10/28/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, Carpenter St. in Salem, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in this new-to-me Little Free Library in Salem Massachusetts. [This year the usual Halloween festivities have been cancelled out of safety concerns, but perhaps someone will enjoy the book!]

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2020 Spooktacular October challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2020 Tick Tock challenge. ***

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