Review Blog

Feb 15 2019

How to train your dragon written and ill. by Cressida Cowell

cover image

Hodder Children's Books, 2019 (c2003). ISBN: 9781444950380.
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. To become a Viking hero it was a tradition of the Hooligan Tribe to undertake the dreaded Dragon Initiation Programme. Failure meant banishment from the tribe forever.
The unremarkable Hiccup, the son of Viking Chieftain Stoic the Vast, and a member of the Hairy Hooligans, must capture a sleeping baby dragon from the cave in Wild Dragon Cliff, preferably without awakening the mass, take it back to the village and train it to obey and catch fish for him. No easy task.
Hiccup and his little dragon, Toothless, are scorned and bullied by other members of the gang. He has great difficulty training his reluctant dragon, but patience pays off and Toothless eventually proves to be very heroic when most needed.
All the characters have unbecoming names such as Snotlout, Thuggery, Baggybum and Gobber, who is a six-and-a-half foot giant with a mad glint in his one working eye and a beard like exploding fireworks.
The teenage Hooligans and their counterparts, the Meatheads, initially clash in fierce rivalry. A dreadful crisis threatens the entire village and the 'Big Drums' summon the two teams of boys, who must work together to overcome two humungous dragons, causing spectacular havoc.
Brave Hiccup, the only person who can converse with dragons, devises a remarkably clever plan and endures a mindboggling experience with Green Death and, with Toothless helping, struggles to outwit the monsters, to avert a catastrophe.
Joan Kerr-Smith
Editor's note: Review from earlier edition.

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Branford Boase Award longlist 2020
Printz Award 2020
Newbery Medal 2020
Caldecott Medal 2020
Best Fiction for Young Adults List 2020
Costa Children's Book Award 2019

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Children's Laureate's charter
Free Rights of the Reader Poster