Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review - How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Children’s/Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy/Humor
Size: 240 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 3, 2012
ISBN: 978-0316085274
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in How to Train Your Dragons series
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the first book in the How to Train Your Dragon series. At this time there are nine books in this series with the most recent one being the ninth book in the series, How to Steal a Dragon's Sword. This was a fun and heartfelt read; full of adventure and, of course, dragons.

I read this book with my 5 year old son and he enjoyed it immensely.

In this book we follow Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to capture and train a dragon in order pass his test to become part of the Harry Hooligan Tribe.

Hiccup is not your typical viking; he is not good at yelling or being scary...but he can speak Dragonese and he is good at strategy. When he ends up with a scrawny and uncooperative garden variety dragon Hiccup despairs of things ever going right.

This book is much much different from the movie. Hiccup has the same sarcastic sense of humor, but Toothless is pretty much an obnoxious brat. There is no riding of dragons; the baby dragons are too small for that. Hiccup isn’t an inventor of strange devices; but more of a strategist with spurts of bravery.

It is a very cute story though, even if it isn’t quite as dramatic as the movie. Watching Hiccup move from outcast, to a leader of sorts who is respected for his ideas and action is great and very well done.

This is a story about friendship and respecting people for their differences. Of course there is also a lot of action and a lot of humor throughout as well. Much of the humor is slapstick type but there is some witty banter in there as well.

There are some sketches throughout the book too; they aren’t all that great...basically scribbles. But these illustrations are funny and do add humor to the story.

Overall an excellent story. One of those ones that both kids and adults will find humor in. This would be a great series for kids five and up; either to read on their own or with their parents depending on age. Very different from the movie; so don’t go into this series expecting a replay of the movie. Recommended to children/YA who are into dragons and adventure and love some humor in there too.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge

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