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How to Train Your Dragon Paperback – February 1, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

How to Train Your Dragon + How to Train Your Dragon: How to Be a Pirate + How to Train Your Dragon: How to Speak Dragonese (How to Train Your Dragon (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III))
Price for all three: $23.00

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: How to Train Your Dragon (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316085274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316085274
  • ASIN: 0316085278
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Cressida Cowell grew up mostly in Central London. She has a BA in English Literature from Oxford University, a BA in Graphic Design from St Martin's and an MA in Narrative Illustration from Brighton. Cressida loves illustrating her own work, but also loves writing books for other people to illustrate as the end result can be so unexpected and inspiring. Cressida has written and illustrated eight books in the popular Hiccup series. The unique blend of child centred humour and sublime prose made Hiccup an instant hit. How to Train Your Dragon has reached over 100,000 sales and is now published in over 30 languages. A Dreamworks feature film is due to be released in 2010. Also the author of picture books, Cressida has won the Nestle Children's Book Prize 2006 and has been shortlisted for many others. Cressida lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and two cats.

Customer Reviews

I read this book to my son before he was reading.
K. Heumann
These books are a real gem, and I highly recommend them for kids (and adults) of all ages!
A. Beason
I bought this book for my 8 year old son to read and he loves it.
Charity K

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Michele Rempe on August 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is the first in a series about a group of young boys embarking on a journey to become part of their village's viking clan. The boys must each capture a dragon and train it. The book is surprisingly engaging and very funny. The characters speak as you would imagine young vikings would - crude little-boy speak about snot and such, the dragons speak their own language, which you can learn throughout books in this series, and the author's narrative is sublime literary prose. With this blend, Cowell has the most unique literary style I have ever read! Parents will love the quick pace and unique style, boys will think it's cool, and girls will giggle.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By C. Buechler on April 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book looks younger than it really is in both vocabulary and humor. My ten year old girl read it and loved it. The humor is very entertaining. I read it to my 8 year old son at bedtime as well and we all enjoyed it. I recommend this book for 7-12 year old children.
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79 of 87 people found the following review helpful By M. on January 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The book is fantastic, great story fun illustrations and a great read-a-loud.

However... There are some bad copies of it floating around where a group of pages are doubled up and a group of pages are missing. If you order this wonderful gem, be sure to check the pages around 121-152. Unfortunately this is at one of the very exciting parts of the story so best to find out before beginning reading.

Fortunately the publisher is very friendly and helpful about replacing mis-produced books and you just have to contact their customer service to remedy the situation.

So do enjoy this little treasure.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sarah S. Chow on July 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am one of the lucky generation that got to experience this book as a child, right in the prime 7-12 demographic it is intended for.

I can tell you with all honesty, I have kept it within reach of my bed for about six years now, even as I have grown to love Shakespeare, Huxley, and quite a few other old masters during my literature-loving days of high school.

(And I see you giving me that funny look- a scribbly little book about a crazed pack of Vikings and an ineffectively housebroken dragon? I am dead serious, and not ashamed to admit it.)

This book is a gem, and a keeper. I have only grown to love it more, now that I, thanks to some great Lit classes, have the tools to REALLY appreciate it. The recent Dreamworks movie, alike in the basics down to its snarky little hero, yet differing completely in conception, has only strengthened this love.

It's a very simple story, with a very simple hero.

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is small, skinny, and rather unremarkable. He isn't particularly good at sports, prefers a civil conversation to a fistfight, and can almost spell "motivation" correctly.

In other words, he's a terrible Viking. Being son of the Chief and The Hope and Heir of the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans doesn't help matters much.

Following the ancient traditions of his clan, he and his fellow novices are ordered to capture, raise and train their own dragons in preparation for an all-important initiation ceremony. However, the dragon that Hiccup gets saddled with (and I do not mean that literally, ya movie buffs), though pint-sized and completely toothless, proves to be more than his little trainer can handle using the traditional Viking method (YELL AT IT).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gankaku on July 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have a really hard time finding age-appropriate fun books for my 6th grade son. There's tons of stuff for girls, but my son....wow. Really tough. He ATE this book up! He asked if we could get the Pirate one and the second dragon book in the series.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Schultheis on June 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book was very fun to read! Emma- age 6
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a story about a very unheroic viking named Hiccup who is in the process of training and must learn to become a hero, as he is the son of Stoick the Vast. In this series he learns how to train his dragon, become a pirate, speak Dragonese, and other adventures.

Things to know:
I like this book because it is very funny and adventurous.
It sometimes uses bad words (like stupid, dumb, neff off, idiot), but since they're pirates they're supposed to say them.
Sometimes it's scary, but not too scary. Just enough scary for you to get a little chill in your bones, but you know that since there are more books, obviously the character has to survive.

I am nine years old and I recommend these books to people who like humorous adventure stories.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hetling on January 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock is supposed to one day lead the Viking tribe that is currently ruled by his father, Stoick the Vast. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any of the traits that Vikings look for in a leader. Before he can inherit leadership of the tribe, he must first pass an initiation (along with 19 other Viking boys) in which he captures a young dragon and trains it to hunt fish for him, as dragons have done for generations.

This book has all of the trademarks of a traditional contemporary teen novel; the social outcast, the single unpopular friend, the strong bullies, and the out-of-touch, demanding father are all familiar figures to us. But in How to Train your Dragon, these conflicts are set against a goofy, over-the-top surreal Viking background, in which the foremost authority on dragon-training has published his advice in a book (which reads, in its entirety: "Yell at it!"). The humor is broad and plentiful, and the book is broken up by graphic insets that range from amusing childish drawings of the characters to reproductions of pages from ancient tomes on dragons.

Even though I thought that the book didn't work on some levels, I enjoyed the originality. The action scenes involving dragons are interesting, and readers will enjoy many of the jokes. The appearance of an enormous sea dragon provides for some truly chilling moments, and the more serious interactions between the sea dragon and Hiccup are probably the best in the book.

Another strength of the book is the ability to evoke the flavor of a fairy tale, by presenting us with initiation rituals and dragons in a way that sometimes seems magical.

The success of this series will depend on whether the writing can be tightened up in future volumes.
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