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How to Train Your Dragonby Cressida Cowell
Synopses & Reviews
Meet Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, heir of the Viking chiefdom, but a boy with one very big problem: a hero he is not. How to Train Your Dragon is the riotous story of Hiccup's quest to hunt down the fiercest dragon, bring it into submission, and — hopefully — pass his initiation. Instead, he ends up with the smallest, most ornery dragon — it's even toothless! Thus begins the hijinx of the world's most lovable, unlikely hero and a most reluctant "beast." Packed with energetic drawings and plenty of action, this boisterous tale is just right for fantasy fans or anyone with a spirit of adventure.
"In this riotous paper-over-board farce, the timid protagonist from Cowell's picture book Hiccup: The Seasick Viking proves himself worthy of the sobriquet 'Hope and Heir to the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans.' The protagonist is also given author credit (as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III), with Cowell billed as translator 'from the Old Norse.' Indeed, 'Hiccup' contributes an introductory note: 'I was not the sort of boy who could train a dragon with a mere lifting of an eyebrow. I was not a natural at the Heroism business. I had to work at it. This is the story of becoming a Hero the Hard Way.' From his initial challenge — Hiccup and his fellow warriors-in-training must each pluck a dragon from a 'Dragon Nursery' where 3,000 young critters are hibernating — the likable lad faces a host of hurdles and beats tremendous odds to emerge triumphant. After selecting a tiny, toothless dragon ('I shall call [my dragon] Fireworm,' says nemesis Snotface Snotlout. 'What are you going to call yours, Hiccup? Sweetums? Sugarlips? Babyface?'). Hiccup tackles the chore of training the stubborn creature, which leads to some fresh, funny dialogue between the two (Hiccup has the rare ability to speak 'Dragonese'). A rollicking finale finds the duo rescuing Vikings from a ravenous, mountain-size dragon. Short chapters, clever slapstick, kid-pleasing character names (e.g., Fishlegs, Dogsbreath the Duhbrain) and goofy, childlike drawings will keep even reluctant readers turning these pages — and chuckling as they go. Ages 8-12. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The hilarious farce will appeal to heroic fiction fans as much as to scaredy-cats, especially since the author extends the nonstop parody with messy black-and-white pencil sketches of the bumbling bedlam." Booklist
"Featuring characters with names like Badbreath the Gruff and Snotface Snotlout, the silly story is accompanied by the author's crudely drawn illustrations." Hornbook Guide to Children
"Kids will hoot at the ridiculous names and sympathize with Hiccup's exasperation with his truly obstinate but strangely lovable dragon." School Library Journal
"[Cowell's] genuinely fierce, intelligent, and scary dragons nearly steal the show, but Hiccup and his diminutive sidekick ultimately come out on top, both displaying a proper hero's mix of quick wit, courage, and loyalty." Kirkus Reviews
Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.
Packed with energetic black-and-white drawings and plenty of action, this book tells the boisterous tale of a young heir to a Viking chiefdom who must hunt down the fiercest dragon in the land, but ends up with the smallest, most ornery dragon.
About the Author
Cowell holds a B.A. in graphic design and an M.A. in narrative illustration.
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