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Trouble with Trolls Paperback – October 1, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
A brave girl outwits some trolls when they try to kidnap her dog. "A wintry winner with a sunny glow," said PW. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A Scandinavian girl must use her wits to outsmart a bunch of pesky trolls in Brett's latest picture book. . . . Brett's sumptuous paintings are typically replete with detail of landscape and costume, this time vividly capturing Scandinavian mountains and villages. . . . A wintry winner with a sunny glow."—Publishers Weekly
"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."—School Library Journal
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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.