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D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls (New York Review Children's Collection) Hardcover – October 17, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Available once again, this beautifully lithographed collection of lore introduces children to some of traditional literature's bad boys (and girls)." --School Library Journal

“Over their nearly five-decade career, Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire penned and illustrated nearly 30 books, winning them wide acclaim and several awards. Trolls, originally released in 1972, was among this lauded group. New York Review Books has now returned it to print, and we have two words to say about that: Thank you. Trolls combines charming tales from Norse folklore with a fantasy traveler’s guide to the hairy beasts. We learn about forest trolls, mountain trolls and bridge trolls—their habitats, habits and even number of heads. We meet three creatures who share a single removable eyeball, and cursed princesses who burp toads. But nothing’s too scary: The lithographed pictures have a warm, hand-drawn look that transforms all beasts from horrific to humorous. The press reprinted another of the couple’s classics last year, D’Aularies’ Book of Norse Myths, with a preface by novelist Michael Chabon. This new entry in the collection arrives without endorsement, but trust us, it doesn’t need one.” –Time Out New York Kids


“There are children whose drawings of even the most ferocious monsters still reflect a quality of their own innocence and sweet temperament. The same is true of the artwork of the d’Aulaires. No matter how fierce their subjects, they can endow them with a kind of vulnerability that is both touching and–especially in the case of trolls–ridiculous…Combining knowledgeableness with easy-going humor, the d’Aulaires work anecdote after anecdote into a kind of patchwork story-quilt. Each patch, while complete in itself, contributes to an over-all understanding of the Norwegian troll world, fragments of which have survived into today…[They] have written an authoritative book on trolls and created a nearly perfect picture book for children.”–The New York Times

D’Aulaires’ Trolls, an informative Baedekar on the moss-grown mountains of Norway and their weird inhabitants of more than a century ago, exemplifies a happy balance of art and text…Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire have completed the legends and descriptions with fittingly grotesque color and black-and-white sketches of myriad trolls.”–The Washington Post

“The crayon-like drawings have a humorous ugliness, and in their own outlandish way are a delightful change from all the antiseptic ethnic literature being turned out with one eye on the ethnic dollar.”
Christian Science Monitor

“This book represents the quintessence of the d’Aulaires’ art.”–Horn Book

“[A] real winner.”–Boston Globe

“The D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths taught a generation about the legends on which much of literature is based. Now their D’Aulaires’ Book of Trolls by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, first published in 1972, returns to print to shed light on another staple of Norway: the magical trolls, ‘as old and moss-grown as the mountains themselves,’ in all their diversity.”
Publisher’s Weekly

From the Publisher

In their unique style, the d'Aulaires have created a wonderful picture book about these strange long-ago inhabitants of the wild Norwegian mountains.

"Luminous, magical pictures transport readers deep into the mountains and forests of Norway and into the consciousness of old believers. This is a robust and resonant natural history of trolls."--Kirkus Reviews. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 1020 (What's this?)
  • Series: New York Review Children's Collection
  • Hardcover: 76 pages
  • Publisher: NYR Children's Collection for ages 7-12; First Edition Thus edition (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590172175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590172179
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.6 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A great read filled with colorful illustrations & all the usual excitement you'd expect to find in a troll adventure. Of course, there is also a beautiful princess to be rescued. I don't know why Amazon lists the reading level as "baby, pre-school"!!! No baby or pre-schooler would sit through the first page. Maybe the illustrations would interest that group, but the amount of reading is far too lengthy. As a "read alone" book, I would say it is best suited for grades 3 and up.
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By A Customer on July 7, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book has become a family classic in our home. I enjoyed it in hardback when I was a young boy and now my children are too. This book draws you in with its unique and mysterious stories of folklore long ago. You can picture these stories actually taking place in the areas of the world where they originated. The illustrations are curious and strange in a way that helps add to the book's tales. I am constantly asked to read this title at our bedtime. I can not think of a book that has been enjoyed more by my children and myself over the years. I give it my highest recommendation.
Shawn C. Osting (shawn@intouch.org or scoitm@aol.com
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who is trying to cultivate a love of literature AND a lengthy attention span in my homeschooled children, I *did* purchase this for my pre-schooler and he sat happily through the entire book (3 evenings worth of reading for us). The d'Aulaire illustrations were, as always, engaging, soft, and encouraging to the child's imagination. Detailed without taking over the telling of the tales. Basically, it covered all of my criteria to be purchased: well written and if it has illustrations they need to be worthy of the story and worth looking at.

The down side to this book is that it is in some ways a long treatise on trolls that happens to include some stories as examples. This means that your child ends the book having been exposed to a lot of the folk beliefs of Scandinavian trolls, with a limited number of stories, and that it doesn't offer simple cut-off points for bedtime reading. On the other hand, it means it is a book worth revisiting as a child grows older; in our case so our children will be versed in the folklore and belief of their ancestors. A simpler bedtime book with lovely woodblock illustrations would be Lise Lunge-Larsen's "The Troll with No Heart in His Body." It is a collection of the stories with very brief intros that can be included or omitted according to the moment (at bedtime with my pre-schooler I tend to leave them out; when reading during the day I am more likely to include them).

I'm not really suggesting one book over the other. In a search for either cultural literacy or multiculturalism, both have their place and are both well told, well illustrated and will add to your child's imaginative landscape.
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By A Customer on July 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was one of my favorite books as a child. I checked it out of the library over and over . The pictures just seem to come to life, the stories are enchanting. A must have for troll collectors. I purchased a copy at long last! Thanks Amazon
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book seems to have perfectly captured the spirit of Norwegian Trolls. These creatures of myth were once genuinely feared by children and adults alike. Yet, with time, the culture has embraced them as a symbol of superstitious mischief. In modern day Norway, the troll is an impishly cute, cuddly sort of a thing. And this beautifully illustrated book has managed to replicate this transition. Your kids will shiver, squeel, and giggle at the stories in this collection. Nothing makes the monster under the bed so easy to deal with as showing that a monster can be cuddly.
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Format: Hardcover
D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls is a companion book to D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths. Both books have the same dimensions (12" x 9"), which I greatly appreciate for vain shelf placement aesthetics. In this book, we see the nighttime side of Norse mythology, for everyone knows that trolls only come out when the sun goes down. There aren't many specific tales about trolls in this book, but it is more a guide to what trolls are, what they look like, customs, etc.

Some of the things I learned in this book is that the more heads a troll had, the harder it was for him to eat because all the heads were hungry and greedy. I also learned that the number of knots a troll could tie in his tail indicated his rank among trolls. Trolls are also very rich, because they own the gold and silver under the mountains. Lastly, trolls turn to stone and shatter in the sun. Most/all of the trolls probably turned to stone, and this is why you don't see them anymore. As an adult, I enjoyed learning and reading about trolls. From a child's perspective, I could see how it might be a little frustrating to have few clear stories and instead be presented with a FAQ on Trolls. It is still engaging and full of great illustrations, so if you buy D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths, you will definitely want to pair this book with it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. Simple as that. Many of the stories are the same ones you'll find in other troll books, but no one tells them (or illustrates them) quite like the D'Aulaires. Not only is it one of the most magical children's books of the last fifty years, it's one of the best books period.
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