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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly.
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Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve? Hardcover – September 23, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Knock knock. Who's there? More trolls to add to Brett's (Christmas Trolls; Trouble with Trolls) canon. Apparently, the trouble with trolls is that they're always making trouble. Luckily, they never get any smarter. In this Arctic story, a shy Finnmark girl fends off lurking trolls with help from a traveling boy and his pet polar bear. An icy landscape shimmers under the northern lights while bright Scandinavian frocks and household items give the scenery a kicky dash of color. Brett simultaneously reveals another angle of her tale via intricately designed side panels that frame the main event. The lifelike polar bear, both hulking and docile, is a scene-stealer. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-In this story based on a traditional Norwegian folktale, a boy traveling from Finnmark to Oslo with his pet polar bear stops by Kyri's hut on Christmas Eve. The guests help to frighten away the trolls who come to wreak havoc and steal all of the holiday treats. The pleasure here lies mostly in the lush, richly textured illustrations, with Brett's distinctive borders that incorporate Norwegian folk motifs and trolls romping through skies lit by the Northern lights. Scenery aside, the children are rather one-dimensional, but the bear is handsome and heroic and the trolls satisfyingly ugly and naughty.-V. W.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399238735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399238734
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jan Brett has again combined a charming story with delightful characters and her usual stunning artwork. Each page is a visual treat; casual readers will miss the subtle clues and detail skilfully blended into the borders. The story invites lingering on each and every page. Although the story is aimed at children aged 4 through 8...readers of all ages will love this treasure. It adds Brett's usual magic to story time...and for readers without children of that age-buy it...you'll enjoy it yourself!
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book, and so do all the children I know who have had it read to them. The point of the story is that trolls are incredibly stupid. Anybody looking for a deeper meaning will be disappointed. Some of the reviewers asked if it's a retelling of a real Norwegian folktale. Indeed it is. The original title is "The Cat on the Dovrefell" in Asbjornsen and Moe's "Norwegian Folktales" (1841).
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Format: Hardcover
What a marvel of a book! Jan Brett has an incredibly detailed and colorful style a la Michael Hague. In this book, each illustration is presented as a triptych: the middle panel represents the text, and the side panels present what is happening meanwhile with the other characters. Very neat trick.

I like that there is not TOO much text on each page, and there is a lovely repetitive cadence to the storytelling.

Although this is a good book to use in initiating learning about Scandinavia, it evokes the Arctic in general. As someone who lived in Alaska for many years and had the good fortune to see the Northern Lights and breathe the crisp frigid air until my nose hairs froze, I endorse Brett's artistic expression of the Far North completely.

This is a good family read for mixed-age children if the older ones liked "The Golden Compass" or "Julie of the Wolves". Children who like this book may also enjoy the gigantic "Gnomes" books full of Scandinavian lore.
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Format: Hardcover
My daughter (3 yrs old) never gets tired of reading this book, and there is so much detail that there is always something new to discover so neither do I! The extremely dramatic story is exactly what resonates with children - A scared little girl left alone in the house afraid of trolls and who might knock, a brave Daddy that goes out on skis in the cold woods looking everywhere to find the trolls and scare them away, trolls who are knocking, trying to get in and finally burst in, a polar bear that gets poked in the nose, woken up, and roars around chasing them out, and trolls that are bad because they don't share and want to eat everything so poor Kyrie and Daddy don't have anything to eat for Xmas. Just scary enough with dramatic happy ending, my daughter acts it all out, and we both pick out new pictures all the time (Kyrie sillouette cooking in kitchen, animals in the northern lights, etc.) An absolute keeper, must buy you'll never tire of story or pictures.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book tells the tale of a boy finding a polar bear cub and taming her into a renowned dancing bear. In this telling Brett focuses on the encounter with trolls on Christmas Eve while on their way to Oslo. The boy arrives with the bear at the house where the girl Kyri is preparing the food the trolls will steal; her father has gone off to try to stop the troll from reaching the house. The bear ends up driving off the trolls.

There is another telling of this story available: Sister Bear: A Norse Tale by Jane Yolen. Yolan reinterprets the tale into a tale of a girl finding the bear. She has the owner of the house present, but only as he and his family leave, wanting to be gone before the trolls arrive. That eliminates the (chaste) boy-girl angle of this version. "Sister Bear" ends up taking care of the trolls, then moving on to success with the King of Denmark. The bear, again, is the hero, driving off the trolls.

Comparing the books is challenging. They are both well written, but take the tale from different perspectives. The illustrations in "Sister Bear" are a bit more opulent, while those in "Who's That Knocking ..." are more rustic, and have a more period feel.

Forced to choose, I'd take "Who's That Knocking ..." by a bear's whisker. But I could see getting both as a lesson on how tales can be told more than one way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hilarious story of a group of marauding trolls who come up against a boy and his pet polar bear. The trolls, who raid an arctic holiday feast each year, find out they are no match for the boy's "Kitty". Of course Jan Brett, once again, out does herself, in both illustrations and a story-feast. Good read-aloud for K-1, and readable for second & third graders.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoy this book! The most noteworthy thing is the illustrations, Jan Brett is a master. They're just beautiful and so detailed. The story is nice as well. It doesn't necessarily flow perfectly and isn't completely logical. These are things that usually bug me, but I'm okay with it, in part because the story is so charming overall and in part because I know it's based on an old folktale and folktales don't always make perfect sense. I also agree that the name of the book combined with the cover illustration are misleading in regards to what the story is actually about.

To those who are a bit worried the book could be too scary for kids since it involves trolls breaking into a house, the trolls don't hurt anyone or destroy the house. They just gobble up the Christmas feast.

Spoiler alert- does anyone understand why the father, who is supposed to be keeping his eyes open for trolls, turns around and crawls into a little cave in one of the illustrations, an action that results in the trolls getting into the house? My husband and I can't figure that one out!
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