Book Reviews

Picture Book Reviews

Parent Book Review
How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell
If you liked the film of How to Train Your Dragon you might like reading the books too.  They’re not quite the same – in the books, the dragon is small and child-like (and very silly), and some of the characters are different too.  Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is the son of the Viking Chief, and though he seems a bit of a wimp, he turns out to be the hero.  He is a very likeable character, with whom most children can probably identify in some way, and the stories are really exciting and in places very funny.  The illustrations are quite roughly drawn, but help to explain the story and to show what the author is describing.  A list of the all the books published to date is below – you don’t have to read them in order, but there is a story running through them, and it might help to start with the earlier ones.

The stories are about good against evil; persecution and tolerance; friendship and rivalry; betrayal and loyalty; right and wrong, and so on.  They’re well written, easy to read, and manage to convey some excellent messages without preaching – a great series suitable for 5-10 year olds (and their parents – I’ve read them all and loved them just as much as my son did).
How to Train Your Dragon
How to Be a Pirate
How to Speak Dragonese
How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse
How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale
A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons
How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm
How to Break a Dragon’s Heart
How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword
How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel
How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero

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