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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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HALL OF FAMEon 5 September 2004
Hiccup the Useless and his dragon Toothless are back, trying to learn sword-fighting at sea in the middle of a storm whipped up by Thor on a bad day. Saved from death at the edge of Snotlout's sword by the indomitable Toothless (who bites his enemy's bum when he can be bothered) and from drowning by a mysterious coffin, the Hairy Hooligan tribe are soon hotly pursuing a fabulous treasure hidden by one of Hiccup's ancestors on an island guarded by terrifying monsters. Once again, Hiccup's brains outwit the deep-laid plots of their enemies... The great jokes and insanely funny drawings go deeper than mere gags. This is the story of how a clever boy in a stupid family not only proves his worth as a real hero but makes his stupid father, Stoic the Vast, realise that he loves his son, and is proud of him. One of the most perfect series to get boys hooked on books, it is strongly recommended.
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on 1 May 2010
Forget the film and invest in this great series. For long car journeys with children throw away the portable dvd player and put any one of these story cds on.
We have the whole series and all of the stories have been played over and over again and -unlike the film based on the first adventure that Hiccup has - are entirely true to the books. The story itself ( and all in the series) is fantastic for both children and adults alike. However the fact that they are read by the talented David Tennant really does just clinch the deal. The story is read by him in such an engaging way that you will drive round the block to make sure you hear the end. His voices for all the characters are wonderful and seem to encapuslate each individual precisely.
All our family enjoy them from 5-45 male and female.
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HALL OF FAMEon 29 September 2005
Both the book and the audio of this are great. The adventuires of Hiccup perfect for boys of 6-10 who have stopped reading. The are funny, exciting, touching and written in the kind of vivid language that children understand immediately. Hiccup is a wonderful hero, a kind of Viking nerd despised by his thuggish tribe (including his father Stoic the Vast). Here, the Hooligan tribe get directions to a legendary treasure, guarded by monsters. Only Hiccup, his tiny dragon Toothless and his best friend Fishlegs get it - but they have to get past more monsters and a treacherous farmer first. Read by David Tennant, the new Doctor Who, with huge gusto.
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on 15 January 2006
We discovered Cressida Cowell's Viking series by chance, and I have been recommending them to fellow parents ever since. My 10 year old son, a known reluctant reader, has been hooked by all three books (he devoured How to Speak Dragonese in short measure), and the newly acquired CD of 'How to be a pirate' has been on continuous loop since we got it. Its appeal is in its humour which is perfect for the 8-10 year old boy - the examples of Dragonese from this book has us all in fits of giggles however often we hear it. And David Tennant is brilliant. He captures all the characters very well and reads it with such enthusiasm that you can't help but be swept up in it. His interpretation of Toothless is just terrific.
We await the next book in the series with undisguised impatience!
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on 16 June 2010
I bought this along with three other books in this series for my just 8 year old grandson. He can't get enough and has deserted his Wii in favour of reading this book. He has read some of it out loud to me and I must say it is a well written and fun book.
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This is the forth audio book in the 'How to Train Your Dragon' series read by David Tennant that I have had the pleasure of listening to.

This installment is, in my opinion, the best yet.

How to be a Pirate is brilliantly read by David Tennant.
If you imagine how good he could be and multiply it by a factor of 5 you would still be selling him short.
He is superb.

I listen to a lot of audio books and Tennant is right up there in his reading with Tony Robinson's reading of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett and with Stephen Fry's reading of J K Rowling's Harry Potter series of books. Brilliance.

I kid you not.

True, Tennant does have a lot to go on.
Cresssida Cresswell's books are wonderfuland fabulously funny children's tales but in Tennant's capable voice he ratchets their brilliance to a whole new level.

His vocal characteristics are brilliant.
The pace is ideal and as the books are so funny and well written with a cracking story the action and enjoyment fairly canters along.

Think of a Noggin the Nog crossed with Harry Potter and a smidgeon of Spike Milligan and you have the idea of just how good an author Cresswell is.

I don't need to give you the plot others will do so in reviews of the book because I am reviewing the audio version.

If you have kids that are reluctant readers play them this on a car journey and I guarantee you three things will happen.

One you will seek out the rest in the fabulous series.

Two Your kids will pick up and read the books wanting to get more.

Three You too will, like me, become a fan.

And I really envy you discovering this fantastic audio series for yourselves.
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on 6 January 2014
I have struggled to get my son reading but after finishing one of the later books in the series he read the book of How to train your Dragon. Today was his birthday and, as one of his presents was a kindle, I thought I would encourage his newly found love of reading and download this, the second in the series.

When he started to read this book he found the font very small and asked if I could change it - unfortunately the only options were to "zoom" from 150% upwards and this took the font off of the page. We checked the other books I had pre loaded for him (A Terry Pratchett and an Artemis Fowl) and font sizes could be adjusted as usual.

After discussing this via webchat with Amazon this problem would appear to be because the book contains scanned pictures. My son will struggle on and read this small font but please be aware - should you be purchasing this for anyone with a visual impairment that they will be unlikely to be able to read it.
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on 13 December 2009
This is the first in the Hiccup series and having read all the books that are published at the moment we headed to the CD's and were most delighted with David Tennant's reading - he is superb. I have 3 sons 12, 10 and 8 and all five of us listen to it in the car, totally enthralled - in fact we have been known to sit in the car, having reached our destination, refusing to get out until it has finished! You wont regret buying this audio book.
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on 1 August 2016
Important to know is these books are NOTHING like the film apart from a few names in common and the general premise of vikings and dragons.
Toothless is a "Daydream" and, like all the other dragons, about the size of a household pet.They are not ridden upon and can talk in a language that Hiccup (and therefore the reader) can understand.

However, this does not detract from this being an excellent story. Just if you are getting it as a gift for a fan of the films and TV series they may be disappointed. I explained it away to my children (5&7) as coming before the films when Toothless was younger, smaller and before he'd grown into Night Fury.

They were quite happy with this and very drawn into the story which was original and moves very quickly from one peril to another so children and parents alike won't get bored.
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HALL OF FAMEon 13 July 2004
I am totally in love with these books, and if you've missed How to Train Your Dragon then read/listen to that first. The second part of Hiccup's adventures is hysterically funny and exciting. It begins with the trainee members of the Viking Hooligan tribe being coached in fighting at sea by Gobber the Belch in the middle of a summer storm. Poor Hiccup is saved from defeat by the loathsome bully Snotlout when his small dragon, Toothless, sinks his hard gums into Snotlout's bottom, and winds up floating on a coffin with DO NOT OPEN. Inside is the start of a quest to find to lost treasure of Grimbeard the Ghastly, one of Hiccup's grisliest ancestors....The jokes, read with enormous relish and a variety of Scottish voices by David Tennant, are guaranteed to have the whole family roaring like pirates. Even if it means missing out on Cowell's brilliant line drawings of life in the Hairy Hooligan tribe, this is an audiobook to treasure.
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