How to Be a Pirate (How to Train Your Dragon #2)
By Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (Translated from the Old Norse by Cressida Cowell)
Published by Hachette Audio
Read by David Tennant
I enjoyed the first book of the series How to train Your Dragon, which I reviewed last week, so much that I immediately moved on to the next in the series. The story did not disappoint. While this is definitely a book written for children, there’s enough of a story to keep adults interested, especially if they are reading the story to their kids.
The story picks up some unspecified but probably short time after the end of the first book when the young men of Berk are being trained at sea. For some reason they are boldly learning how to be pirates. Now I’m not sure how the author has confused Vikings with pirates, but for the purposes of this book the terms are interchangeable. Well, okay, I guess many Vikings must have attacked and robbed ships at sea, but there’s not really a lot of that going on in the story. However, our crew does go off on a search for “pirate” treasure which apparently belonged to Hiccup’s great-great-grandfather but which he hid on an island filled with blind and deaf dragons who hunt using their prodigious sense of smell. To avoid being detected, however, all the Vikings need to do is take a bath, so these may be the cleanest Vikings and pirates of all time.
Along the way they fall afoul of several interesting traps and meet a dodgy character named Alvin (no relation to the famous chipmunk and the trouble he causes is on a whole different level) and in the end… well, you should read that for yourself.
This is a fun story and is profusely illustrated by the author. Kids and parents ought to enjoy it.
Once again David Tennant did a fine job of narrating the story, even if he did make the Vikings sound like they spent too much time raiding in Scotland. Even with the heavy accent (only on some characters), he speaks clearly and understandably and reads in a very entertaining manner.
So we have a great children’s book that is read in a manner I think children and adults alike will enjoy. It might even be great to listen to David Tennant’s reading as you turn the pages for yourself. Try it!