cover image Troll Swap

Troll Swap

Leigh Hodgkinson. Candlewick/Nosy Crow, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7101-3

Hodgkinson’s (Goldilocks and Just One Bear) splashy spreads keep a formulaic storyline afloat, and so does her winning storytelling voice: “Say hello to Timothy Limpet. Timothy Limpet is a hairy troll who lives somewhere far away.” Timothy is much tidier than his fellow trolls, while Tabitha Lumpit, a human girl, is “loud and loopy and messy,” much to the dismay of her parents. Predictably, they decide to switch places (their respective folks don’t even notice), finding temporary satisfaction in their new lives, then growing bored. Timothy’s hairy blue head, massive underbite, and donkey ears make him a pretty attractive troll; when he and Tabitha meet, they match, with stripes and polka-dots in all the same places and identical antennae (his are real, hers a headband). Big, black, scrawled letters for trollish speech alternate with careful, repressed printing for tidy sorts (“I just want a nice quiet life without big burps and bad manners,” Timothy sighs). Extra pleasure comes from the other trolls, who have the bombastic charm of Wild Things—especially when they’re sipping tea. Ages 3–7. Agent: David Higham, David Higham Associates. (Mar.)