Norwich exhibition gives you the chance to delve into author Cressida Cowell’s world of dragons

Author Cressida Cowell joins Norwich School pupils in the A Vikings Guide to Deadly Dragons exhibiti

Author Cressida Cowell joins Norwich School pupils in the A Vikings Guide to Deadly Dragons exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

From dressing as a Viking to inventing your own fantastical creatures, visitors to Norwich Castle can have fun delving into the land of dragons created by children's author Cressida Cowell.

A Viking's Guide To Deadly Dragons opens tomorrow and the exhibition has been inspired by the best-selling How to Train Your Dragon books. Ahead of the exhibition opening, Cressida spoke of how family holidays gave her the idea for her land of dragons and how she is passionate about inspiring children to enjoy books.

She said: 'My dad was a mad keen birdwatcher so every year from when I was a baby we would be taken to this uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland, dropped off by a local fisherman and picked up two weeks later, and it was an extraordinary experience for a kid. This was the first place the Vikings went to when they invaded Great Britain and it was the last place they left, so real Vikings would have lived on that little island long ago, so I started writing these stories about Vikings and dragons back when I was a kid, when I was about nine-years-old.'

From these childhood stories, her hugely popular books developed which in turn have been the basis for Hollywood films and a TV series.

'A wonderful thing about it is that when I was a child I loved reading books and it's just extraordinary to think that kids out there, I'm inspiring them hopefully to read and be as excited about books and reading as I was when I was a kid. It's a dream come true,' she said.

'What I love about this exhibition is that it's getting children interacting, getting them reading. There's my books here, there's storytellers coming in, there are lots of opportunities for the kids to start making up their own dragons and thinking up their own stories.'

A Viking's Guide to Deadly Dragons, created by Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books, runs May 30. Visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

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