Two Terrible Vikings

Francesca Simon (illus. Steve May) (Faber)

Two Terrible Vikings

Review by Betsy
Two Terrible Vikings is a funny novel based in the Viking times about two young Viking twins – Hack and Whack. The twins are the worst Vikings ever and not afraid to show it. They raid Elsa Goldhair’s party, hunt for trolls and attempt the most brave of deeds…to raid Bad Island along with their friends. My favourite character is Elsa Gold Hair as she gives a nod to the later life of humans and is the complete opposite of the other characters. The humour of the book is married with a great description that paints a picture in the readers mind as well as getting multiple jokes along the way. I enjoyed the part when the Viking band of friends set sail on a quest-to raid Bad Island. I also enjoyed reading about how Hack and Whack managed to raid Elsa Goldhair’s birthday party.

I think the book could be improved by adding another quest and even more of a realistic vibe. I personally feel that the book does a good job of giving across the idea that these are real Vikings, however, I think that adding more real life Viking facts/insights into a Viking’s life would give the book a more real feel and would make it feel more believable. I also think the use of onomatopoeia is used very heavily which gives a war and battle like feel to any small thing Hack and Whack do. This demonstrates that their personality is quite boisterous and loud. I personally would recommend this book to aged 7-9 people however it can be read by anyone. I would give this book an 8 out of 10 for younger people.

Review by Rafe
The Two Terrible Vikings, known as Hack and Whack, are very unpredictable, as they are chaotic and up to no good.

There are three stories, and all the characters have funny names, and very mixed personalities. In my opinion, the most interesting characters are Hack and Whack, because they like raiding a lot! They sometimes find a way to ruin their ‘big brain’ ideas, because they are so energetic that they mess up. Their catchphrase is, “We’re Hack and Whack on the attack!”

I don’t like the character of Elsa Goldhair because she’s bossy, and very annoying.

The author Francesca Simon has amazing and good ideas. I really want to know her strategies on how to get ideas for writing a book. This book is very creative.

I recommend it to 7-10 year olds, because it is very funny. 

Review by Isa
I found this book very interesting because there were two little Vikings that kept messing around. One of the Vikings was called Hack and the other Viking was called Whack.

I found it really funny because I kept getting their names mixed up.

There was this perfect Viking called Elsa Golden Hair and when Hack and Whack came to her party, they raided it and I thought it was really funny because they managed to do that when it was just the two of them. Also, what I found really good in the story is that when they were supposed to do their chores, instead of doing their chores they went raiding to a completely different island called Bad Island. They went on a boat for hours and hours then they saw Bad Island and they started raiding. Afterwards they wanted a shield but they couldn't reach it, instead they caused a big bang then their mum turned up. Hack and Whack was very surprised to see their mum in Bad Island and their mum was cross with them for causing trouble. She explained to them that they are not in Bad island, the little Vikings had been rowing their boat for hour and hours only to ended up in their own island called Bear island without realising.  

I think it was the best book I have ever read! I rate it 10/10 and the author is actually the author of the international, bestselling book called Horrid Henry. I found the book so interesting and funny that I read the whole book in two days.

I liked the illustration because it shows how the characters looked and Hack and Whack looked mischievous. The story was easy to follow and understand which kept me wanting to read more.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes funny stories and wants to have a good laugh. 

Review by Yusuf
I really did not like this book because I did not find it funny – it was not my sense of humour! It was set in the Viking times and I am not sure that I learnt anything new from the book. I did not like the character Elsa Goldhair because she was too mean to Hack and Whack. I quite liked Hack and Whack but I found them to be a bit cringey.

I would give this book 0 out of 5 stars! It was not the type of book I like to read. 

Review by Faizaan
My favourite character in the book was Hack because he was very energetic and entertaining. Also, I like the part when Whack goes to Elsa Gold Hair’s birthday party and stole her gifts. Additionally, I liked the setting: A cold forest.

Something that I have learned is that in Viking times children had to churn the butter, collect eggs, go to the market, feed chickens and most importantly mine minerals. 

I’ll give this a⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars out of 5 

Review by Nevaeh 
I really like this book. Whack and Hack were my favourite characters because they don’t listen and they get up to mischief. For instance, they throw swords and axes and that’s like me and my brother – always fighting. I wasn’t keen on the dog – it scared me because it looked creepy with one eye – and it was a wolf!

The book taught me that some people didn’t know what birthdays were in Viking times. Also, I discovered some surprising similarities between their times and ours, particularly the fighting between the children, and the fact that one of them is a redhead! I was intrigued by the fact there seems to have been lots more snow than now. There was also lots of violence.

The plot was light-hearted and exciting because of how much the characters fight and all the adventures they get up to. The fights and the adventures were what stood out for me most in the book. I learnt a lot about Vikings, particularly about their clothes and lifestyle. Any child who likes drama, humour and history would love this book. 

Review by Lillie-Rose 
The character I liked the most was a girl called Dirty Ulf – because she stood out the most. She had messy hair and liked to be dirty all day.

There were no characters I disliked; they were all great. The book made me realise that even Vikings had to do chores. They were very similar to us in many ways – they had the same adventures and emotions as us.

It was really interesting, however, to find out the differences that there were between then and now – how they dressed and built their houses was different. It was really exciting when they raided people.

The book was lots of different stories made into one. It was funny and intriguing – I didn’t want to put the book down.

The thing that stood out most for me about the book was how the characters dressed – they dressed really weirdly. Also, they had a very close relationship with their dog – it was like they could understand it. That was very interesting.

I already knew a lot about Vikings so I’m not sure I learnt any new words from the book – but it was fascinating. I’d definitely recommend it to all children. Some of the words may be a little tricky for younger children, but I think they’d love it too.

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