cover image Boots and His Brothers: A Norwegian Tale

Boots and His Brothers: A Norwegian Tale

Eric A. Kimmel. Holiday House, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0886-3

Readers will recognize a familiar folktale plot as Boots and his two rude brothers set off to seek their fortunes. Boots treats an old woman they meet with kindness--his siblings, of course, behaving roughly toward her--and she gives him advice, which he follows to obtain three magic tools to accomplish three impossible tasks. His brothers inevitably fail at the tasks and have dogs set on them; Boots predictably succeeds. Kimmel's straightforward telling is somewhat short on drama and humor--the author of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins is not in top form here. Root's deeply shadowed, brooding illustrations, reminiscent of Henrik Drescher in their skewed perspectives and stylization, add welcome theatrics with such scenes as a dynamic jumble of trees felled by an enchanted ax. It is this idiosyncratic artwork that will most engage the reader. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)