When the movie for How to Train Your Dragon came out, I didn't realize it was a book so I broke my rule and watched the movie first. I absolutely love love love the movie. At first I was mildly disappointed that the book is SO different from the movie. Had I read the book first, I probably would have been angered by the movie. The only real similarity is that some of the characters have the same names.
So - be warned - this book is it's own thing.
Author: Cressida Cowell
Length: 224 pages
Series or Stand Alone: Book 1 of 11
Content Appropriate For: Grades 3-5
Format: Paperback from the classroom library
Three adjectives that describe this book: fun, entertaining, simple
The best thing about the book being so completely different is that I quickly dropped all my expectations and was able to just judge the book on its own merits (I hope).
How to Train Your Dragon has a great "useless" protagonist who just wants to pass his dragon initiation test so he doesn't have to go into exile. His dragon, however, flat out refuses to participate. Toothless is rude, mean, and selfish. Poor Hiccup.
The book is full of gross humor, name calling, and terrifically childish line drawings that definitely look like they were drawn by Hiccup himself.
The plot was exciting at times and ended with an epic battle scene. All in all, a great book for the 3rd-5th grade set.
I read this book as an audiobook. David Tennant's narration is spectacular. His voice for Toothless makes him even more annoying so it's perfect.