The History of a Word 02/07/20
How To Be A Viking
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Long ago, in a fierce and frosty land, there lived a small and lonely Viking called Hiccup. Unlike the other rough and ready Viking children, Hiccup was frightened of sudden loud noises, thunder, spiders… quite a lot of things, in fact.
Most of all, he was afraid of having to go to sea for the first time. Yet when Hiccup finally finds himself on board Chief Stoick the Vast’s Viking ship, it soon becomes clear that maybe all Vikings do get seasick – and that even if they are afraid of doing things, they can definitely be brave.
Cressida Cowell first came up with the idea for her successful How To Train Your Dragon series by sketching this little story about a timid Viking in her sketchbook, not thinking that it would become the seed of something much greater. The story of Hiccup overcoming his fears and his relationship with a heroic and perhaps not overly sensitive father is one of believing in yourself and remembering not to measure yourself against someone else’s standards.