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Trouble with Trolls Hardcover – October 21, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
A Scandinavian girl must use her wits to outsmart a bunch of pesky trolls in Brett's latest picture book. When Tre,va and her dog Tuffi are set upon by these nasty creatures with dognapping on their minds, the girl dissuades the little folk by offering them other belongings in Tuffi's stead. And, ingenious child that she is, Treva retrieves her goods and also saves her pet before adventure's end. Brett's matter-offact text contains many traditional folktale elements: Treva's quick thinking overcomes obstacles, and she is rewarded for her good intentions and cunning. Readers will need to suspend disbelief just a bit, as Brett never places her heroine in any real dangereven though at one point she is nearly disrobed on a mountaintop. And Tuffi, a stalwart looking husky, makes no attempt to bark, growl or escape his captors. Brett's sumptuous paintings are typically replete with detail of landscape and costume, this time vividly capturing Scandinavian mountains and villages. Intricate page borders feature folk art needlework on top and scenes of the simultaneous action in the trolls' underground den on the bottom. A wintry winner with a sunny glow. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-- Treva's trouble begins when she and her dog, Tuffi, go up Mount Baldy. She meets five white-haired trolls, all intent on taking Tuffi; they want a dog and have filled their underground burrow with the things such a pet would need. Quick-thinking Treva, using tactics worthy of Br'er Rabbit, convinces the trolls that her mittens, hat, sweater, etc., are much more important to her than a dog, but wins all her belongings back before she and Tuffi escape down the mountain. Obviously influenced by Scandinavian folklore, the story is appealing. With the fine details that have become her trademark, Brett tells two stories at the same time: the child's encounters with the trolls appear on the top three-fourths of each spread, and a cross-section of their abode occupies the bottom. A humorous subplot involves a curious hedgehog. Set against a wintery, snow-capped background, the saturated colors seem to jump off the page. As always, Brett does a remarkably realistic job of depicting clothing and the natural landscape. Less successful, however, are her renderings of Treva and Tuffi, who have a slightly frozen quality. But the trolls are a personable bunch and readers may hate to see them disappear at the end. Overall, a visually attractive and accessible book that's ideal for individual use, but also fun to share aloud. --Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State Univ . , Normal
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
This is a lovely book featuring a clever girl, Treva, who uses her smarts to outwit a group of trolls trying to steal her dog, Tuffi -- an excellent find for people looking for books featuring clever girls and women.
I should note one adult who saw this book expressed concern that the trolls were trying to steal Tuffi to eat him -- I do not think that is the case at all. I believe they got this impression based upon the trolls dragging around a pot. The trolls actually want to keep Tuffi as a pet. In the (classic Jan Brett) border illustrations, you can see the trolls preparing their home for a pet: they've laid out a water and food dish, created a dog bed, and hung up drawings of a dog. The pot is featured because the trolls wanted to get Tuffi to drag the pot for them.
Another note about the border illustrations -- Brett uses these in virtually all of her books to hint at what is happening next. She gets even more creative here: since the trolls live below the ground, Brett illustrates a sort of troll subplot at the bottom of the page, showing what the trolls are doing during the "main scene" above ground. She uses the side borders to illustrate what will happen next.
If you care for more detailed plot information:
Treva sets off with Tuffi to visit her cousin on the other side of Mount Baldy. She must hike up one side, then ski down the other. The trolls keep trying to steal Tuffi to be their pet and perform different tasks for them (e.g., drag their pot). Treva outwits them one by one (e.g., telling the troll that an item of her clothing [I believe her sweater] is a "pot dragger"). She reaches the peak of Mount Baldy when she's down to her trousers and shirt, and encounters all the trolls at once. She tells them she can fly on her skis, but she needs her sweater, hat, mittens, and boots back. After the trolls have returned her clothing, she picks up Tuffi and flies off on her skis.