Gross is the word for this wildly enjoyable comic fantasy that takes the old heroic Norse battle myths and covers them in slime and snot. Narrator Hiccup, the son of the ruler, is meant to be the next Warrior Chief, but he's a classical nerd, the least heroic boy in the old Hooligan tribe, so how is he to slay monsters? Grandpa says times are changing and the tribe needs a new leader, not just a big violent lump, but someone clever and cunning. Well, Hiccup tries, but he fails the initiation rites. Eventually, though he shows up Snotlout and the other bullies by getting the two gigantic monster dragons to fight one another, and though events take a bad turn after one of the dragons swallows him, things turn out fine; he escapes through the dragon's nose. 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.
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'If you haven't discovered Hiccup yet, you're missing out on one of the greatest inventions of modern children's literature.'
(Guardian children's editor 20050108)
CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE WEEK: 'This book is great fun and has a Blackadderish sense of humour ... full of the sort of jokes that will make schoolboys snigger.' (Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times 20030622)
A super story, inventive, ingenious, perpetually surprising. One to cherish. (Armadillo, Spring 2003 20030622)
A wonderfully wittily written and illustrated story. (Waterstones Quarterly Magazine )
How to Train Your Dragon is a delightful narrative caper... It offers a challenging read to 11-year-olds, and rewards reading aloud, especially for those who relish an element of theatre at story time. (Lindsey Fraser, Sunday Herald, Glasgow )
... raucous and slapstick... liberally illustrated with [Cressida Cowell's] riotous drawings, notes and maps. (The Financial Times )
[Cressida Cowell] puts a contemporary spin on the old brains over brawn moral and brings the story to a climax with a thrilling dragon duel. Lots for lots of different readers to enjoy. (Books for Keeps )
Cowell brings Hiccup to life in this silly and delightful little novel. (St Paul Pioneer Press )
Bulging with good jokes, funny drawings and dramatic scenes, it is absolutely wonderful. (Independent on Sunday )
"The combination of cartoons with sharp wit is what makes this book so uniquely special"
(Books Quaterly (Waterstones) )
About the Author
Cressida Cowell is the good friend and confidante of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, Viking warrior and hero of The Heroic Misadventures. When she is not visiting with Hiccup to document his latest memoir, she lives in the UK. She is also the author of
The Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown,
What Shall We Do With the Boo Hoo Baby? and numerous other picture books.