A Viking's Guide to Deadly Dragons

A Viking's Guide to Deadly Dragons by Cressida Cowell

The Dick Institute was the only venue in Scotland to host this unique and exciting exhibition of one of the UK's renowned and celebrated children's authors. Cressida Cowell has written the hugely popular novels 'How to Train Your Dragon',  a twelve-part series of children’s books, translated into more than 20 languages. Set in a Viking world, they follow the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. The first book was published in 2003, the latest book in the series in 2014 and a brand new book is due out in September of this year.

Based on Cressida Cowell's popular How To Train Your Dragon series, this imaginative exhibition transported visitors back in time to the Dark Ages, a world where Vikings ruled and dragons roamed. Our hero, Hiccup is our guide, introducing us to his tribe, the Hairy Hooligans, his island home of Berk, his hunting dragon Toothless and his quest to become a hero the hard way! Join us to explore the wild dragons cliffs, sail on a Viking boat and share epic yarns in the Great Hall.

Childhood summer holidays spent on a Scottish island inspired Cressida to write the books:
‘Every year we spent four weeks of the summer and two weeks of the spring on the island. The house was lit by candle-light, and there was no telephone or television, so I spent a lot of time drawing and writing stories. In the evening, my father told us tales of the Vikings who invaded this island Archipelago twelve hundred years before, of the quarrelsome Tribes who fought and tricked each other, and of the legends of dragons who were supposed to live in the caves in the cliffs.

Cowell's books were also available in East Ayrshire Libraries and joint events with libraries and gallery staff were very popular. Hiccup titles include: How To Be a Pirate, How To Speak Dragonese, How To Cheat A Dragon’s Curse, How To Twist A Dragon’s Tale, How To Steal A Dragon’s Sword, and How To Betray a Dragon’s Hero.  On 26th March 2010 a Bafta and Oscar nominated computer-animated movie version of How To Train Your Dragon was released by DreamWorks Animation. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was released in 2014.

Cressida Cowell studied at Oxford University, (English), and St Martin’s and Brighton University (Illustration). She won the Nestle Children's Book Award in 2006.

The exhibition was brought to the Dick Institute by Seven Stories Centre for Children’s Books, who were supported by Arts Council England, Newcastle City Council and Hodder Children’s Books.

The exhibition was accompanied by a series of events, activities and workshops including tours for schools, drama workshops for young children and a writing and illustration competition


Visit www.sevenstories.org.uk to find out more about Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books.

Seven Stories Arts Council England hodder books Newcastle City Council