How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon #1
author : cressida cowell (as told to her by Hiccup Horrendour Haddock III)
pages : [hardcover] 224
memorable quote : Wartihog put up his hand. “What happens if we can’t read, sir?”
“No boasting, Wartihog!” boomed Gobber. “Get some idiot to read it for you.”
favorite characters : hiccup & toothless
Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third 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…
If you’ve watched and loved the How to Train Your Dragon movies like I did, prepare yourself: The book series that it’s based on is absolutely nothing like the movies! As of reading this first book I have no idea why they changed so much, though I plan on reading more books to know if they added some elements from the rest of the series! The dragons in this book are quite smaller than in the film, definitely not big enough to ride. Then there’s the fact that Hiccup can speak to them because he knows Dragonese. That’s right, Hiccup can speak to Toothless. Except his dragon isn’t exactly dangerous/adorable . . he’s the size of a small dog and is very selfish, snarky, and unwilling to do anything Hiccup wants him to do.
But this book is adorable. It’s filled with pictures drawn by Hiccup of himself, the events taking place, the other Hairy Hooligans, and of course Toothless. I think it’s fun that the story is ‘true’, told to the author by an older Hiccup who’s showing others how he became a hero against all odds. It also speaks about how dragons are beginning to disappear in his older years, which explains why there are no dragons around for us to see in today’s world. They may simply be in a sleep coma deep in the sea. Ready to wake and devour us after they finished digesting the last meal they had, centuries ago.
I’m glad that I went into this novel knowing it would be something completely different or else I might have been seriously disappointed. I think that it’s an interesting beginning and I want to read more of these books because I’m hoping to see more development in the characters, particularly Toothless. I also want to see what other events and stories are told that may not have any part in the movie franchise. While I think that I still like the film world better, this is a way for me to get to know the origins of that franchise and I definitely think it’s worth a read.
These books are short and meant for younger readers but I think that people of any age can read and appreciate them. They’re so well put together and I can definitely imagine them lasting in popularity, long enough for me to hand these books over to my kids whenever I have any. I can definitely see that many young readers will be captivated by Hiccup’s underdog story, the silly names and appearances of all of the Vikings. They’ll love the drawings and how everything is made to be a realistic story of the past . . combined with dragons, of course.