cover image The Terrible Hodag

The Terrible Hodag

Caroline Arnold. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-284750-0

Ole Swenson and the other lumberjacks fear the terrible Hodag, a beast with the head of an ox, the feet of a bear, the back of a dinosaur and the tail of an alligator. They never work in the woods at night, when the creature roams the forest. Then their boss demands that an entire hillside be cleared and the logs hauled to the sawmill before he will pay them. Ole accomplishes that with the help of the Hodag, who is not so terrible, but only worried that the forest--his home--will vanish. Ole assures him it will be preserved. The tale of cooperation and tolerance fits nicely into the northwoods setting; the Hodag looks like a close relation of Babe the Blue Ox. Davis's painterly illustrations depict the lumberjacks as a hale and hearty bunch--an interesting crew to add to the folkloric tradition. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)