cover image Trouble with Trolls

Trouble with Trolls

Jan Brett. Putnam Publishing Group, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22336-5

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. (Oct.)