Saturday, June 11, 2011

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as "the Dragon Whisperer" ... but it wasn't always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? Join the adventure as the small boy finds a better way to train his dragon and becomes a hero!

My thoughts:
This was the audio book we listened to in the car this week.  I had no idea that it was part of a series until I started to write this review.  When it ended I thought it seemed like it was done, so it will be interesting to see where the series goes on to.  I didn't read any of the summaries so I don't know what will happen in the ensuing books.

I borrowed this book because we watched the animated movie last year and I thought it would be interesting to read the book as well.  Except for the character names, setting and time period, not a whole lot else is the same as the book.  In a way that made it nice because we couldn't simply recall what happened in the movie but were able to listen to a whole new story.

Hiccup is still the son of the chief and is going through the initiation to become a hero in the Hairy Hooligan tribe.  The first feat for the group of ten boys is to go into a cave and select a sleeping dragon to be theirs to train.  The boys are supposed to follow Hiccup, but not a lot of them have a great deal of faith in him.  Many things ensue, including meeting some giant dragons that have been sleeping at the bottom of the ocean for centuries.  Hiccup is given the chance to prove he is a hero in his own way.

The names of the members of the tribes were silly and made my children laugh out loud.  Because they were so odd they were also very memorable like Baggy Bum and Fish Legs.  One thing I found missing were female characters.  Hiccup's mother is in the story a few times, but I can't recall any other female characters.  I'm not sure if this was meant to be in keeping with the time period and women wouldn't have had a big role but I appreciate how in the movie version of the book one of the teens being trained and learning to work with dragons is female.

It looks like, at some point this summer, I will need to look for the next book in the series at the library.  Right now we already have our next few audio books checked out so it won't be for a few more weeks at least.  Plus I need to see just how much interest my children have in it.

•Pub. Date: February 2010

•Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
•Format: Paperback , 214pp
•Age Range: 8 to 11
•Series: How to Train Your Dragon Series #1
•ISBN-13: 9780316085274
•ISBN: 0316085278

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