The story of Hiccup Haddock Horrendous III's rise to fame, through his dragon-training exploits, told in Hiccup's own words by David Tennant, reading Cressida Cowell's marvellous translation from the Old Norse! UNABRIDGED recording.
Cressida grew up in Chelsea. She studied English Literature at Keble College, Oxford Universtiy. She then worked at Macmillan in the Fiction department. She took a BA at St Martins in graphic design and then an MA in Narrative Illustration in Brighton. She is married with two children.
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) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
I can't praise this wonderful adventure too highly -- in fact, for my money, she's the NEXT BIG THING in children's literature! Read with gigantic gusto by David Tennant, and featuring some shatteringly good sound-effects, this kept us all laughing on the edge of our seats for 3 A hours. -- Independent on Sunday 20040523 ' ... one of the most enjoyable and original children's stories I have heard in a long time ... David Tennant reads with outstanding gusto, giving full and varied wellie to the story's rich assortment of Viking and dragon characters.' -- The Independent 20040402 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 20030309 A super story, inventive, ingenious, perpetually surprising. One to cherish. -- Armadillo, Spring 2003 20030309 A wonderfully wittily written and illustrated story. -- Waterstones Quarterly Magazine 20030401 [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 20030501 ... raucous and slapstick... liberally illustrated with [Cressida Cowell's] riotous drawings, notes and maps. -- The Financial Times 20030405 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 20030406
Gr 3-5-Young Hiccup may be the son of Stoick the Vast, chief of the Hairy Hooligans, but he isn't exactly heroic Viking material. When he and the other boys of his tribe are sent on a mission to fetch dragons to train, Hiccup comes back with the scrawniest creature ever seen. Toothless, as Hiccup names him, is also rude, lazy, and greedy, but when the tribe is faced with horrible danger, Hiccup's unorthodox dragon-training techniques prove successful and he and his unique beast become true heroes. Sprinkled throughout with funny sketches, scribbles, and ink blots, this is a goofy and exciting tale of an underdog who proves that brains can be just as important as brawn. Kids will hoot at the ridiculous names and sympathize with Hiccup's exasperation with his truly obstinate but strangely lovable dragon. A delightful read that fans of Ian Whybrow's "Little Wolf" series (Carolrhoda) will particularly enjoy.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.