How To Train Your Dragon, Cressidia Cowell

I’m gonna steal the description from Goodreads, because it’s said better than all the ones I was working on.

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was a truly extraordinary Viking Hero. Warrior chieftain, awesome sword-fighter and amateur naturalist, he was known throughout Vikingdom as ‘The Dragon Whisperer’, on account of his amazing power over these terrifying beasts.

But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, in the beginning, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was the most put upon Viking you’d ever seen. Not loud enough to make himself heard at dinner with his father, Stoick the Vast, not hard enough to beat his chief rival, Snotlout, at Bashyball, the number one school sport, and Certainly not stupid enough to go into a cave full of dragons to find a pet…

You see the sticker over there that says to read the book before you watch the movie? Yeah. It’s a good idea. Because if you expect the same story on either hand, you will NOT get it. For one thing, this book has no girls. (Contra to the movie, where the main characters are Toothless, Astrid, Hiccup and Stoick.) For another, Hiccup’s relationship with his schoolmates is severely different. Also, the dragon-Viking dynamic is almost entirely opposite to the movie. That’s not to say either one is bad, they’re just really not at all the same story.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way. 😀 In the book, dragons are working animals, and training one is an integral part of a young Viking Hero’s education. Only Hiccup is USELESS at training dragons. He tries to TALK to his dragon instead of shouting at it, (mainly because he can’t yell loud enough to do any good,) his dragon is the size of a teacup anyways, and said dragon has a bad attitude problem. If he can’t turn things around, he’s gonna end up banished. Hmmm, I said I was going to steal the GoodReads description, and then I wrote my own. Well done, me. ANYHOW.

I did like this book quite a lot. And I especially liked the things in that I was not expecting. You see, I saw that this was an adventure book and that the MC was a bit of a nerd, and I said to myself “oh right, he’s going to be hated by everyone.” But no! He has a friend. Or a partner in being hated, but they have each other’s backs. And I thought that his dad was going to be a lolstupid oaf who NEVER UNDERSTANDS HIS KIDS. And while he didn’t understand, that wasn’t because he was stupid or uncaring, which is a a pre-conception I had about this sort of “prove yourself” book. Instead, it was because he was so well-meaning that things went pear-shaped.

Oh, also I CHORTLED over “This isn’t a democracy! What do you think this is, the Republic of ROME? We’re Vikings!”

And I gave it four stars out of five. A lot of fun. 😀

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The Deadlies: Felix Takes The Stage, Kathryn Lasky

This is another book I read during the readathon. At the time that I read it I had already been reading for 21 hours and it was six in the morning. And now since then said sister has brought it back to the library. So i’m working from my (very fuzzy) memory.

Felix is one of a family of well mannered, loving Deadly Recluse spiders who happen to be super toxic, and they live in the symphony hall. He has an artistic soul! All he wants is to be accepted and to create! All he wants is to take a ride on the conductor’s baton!

One quick attempt at a ride later, the conductor is being treated for a heart attack, Felix is regrowing a leg, and the Deadlies are looking for a new home, due to their previous home being the domain of exterminators now. Will they ever find a place where they can live without persecution? Will Felix ever find a place where he fits?

I was very confused by the book. I’ll be honest. There was a mom spider, and two sisters I couldn’t keep straight, and Felix. I think what Felix wanted was to not be an introvert, but that is so far outside of my comprehension that I was still going HUHHHH????? The whole time. Also, Mom was all worked up about kindergartens and her children being teased despite being super toxic? Like I said, I was confused. There was a lot of stuff about acceptance, but I just focused on the search for a house, since I could understand that. And that was rather fun, the dramatic cross-coutnry trip, including movies. ^_^

However, the book was fun, and it had fun pictures. 😀 It was exactly what I wanted at that hour. So I gave it three stars out of five.

CLICK, CLACK, MOO: Cows That Type. Story by Doreen Cronin, pictures by Betsey Lewis

Farmer Brown never thought much of of the old typewriter in the barn, until the day the cows found it.

Now there’s a strike going on, demands are being made on both sides, and the ducks are serving as neutral arbitration.

The farmer hasn’t had milk or eggs in days.

WHERE WILL IT END?

Okay, so this cautionary tale about the perils of education* was quietly hilarious. I mean, I expected it to be funny, it’s that type, (you can tell by the illustrations,) I just didn’t expect it to be quite THAT funny. I laughed out loud when I got to the end, and I’ll CERTAINLY be buying it.

I gave it four stars out of five.


*Not really. I just wanted to say that. 😀

Is Your Momma a Llama? Written by Deborah Guarino, Illustrated by Steven Kellogg

In this charming rhyming book, a baby Llama goes around asking all his friends who their mamas are. I’m not a great out-loud reader, (minimal acting skills or emotions,) but the meter was fun, and even I could fall into the rhythm of the question and answer.

Now as this is a picture book, the text is only one part of the story. Steven Kellogg illustrated this one, and I admit to being a fan of his super detailed drawings. 😀 After I read this one out loud, we went through the book again and picked out all the sets of Mamas and their babies.

(I liked the turtles and the owls best. Turtles are pro, and Owls are SO FLUFFY.)

I gave it three stars out of five. If I see it for sale, I will probably pick it up.