cover image No More Ear Buns! (Dagfrid, Viking Girl #1)

No More Ear Buns! (Dagfrid, Viking Girl #1)

Agnès Mathieu-Daudé, trans. from the French by Nanette McGuinness, illus. by Olivier Tallec. Arctis, $7 paper (48p) ISBN 978-1-64690-804-2

In this fast-moving parody of Viking life, written in brief chapters by French author Mathieu-Daudé, young Dagfrid rebels against a Viking girl’s traditional role: the hairstyle (long blond braids rolled “as if you had buns growing out of your ears”), the “superlong dress that traps your legs,” and learning to dry fish (“I hate fish”). She wears her braids long and sews herself a pair of pants, but the only solution to the fish problem is to set sail in a small boat in search of more promising food. The island she encounters is already inhabited by girls with strong opinions of their own: “What’s up with your hairdo, for starters?” They herd (and tire of eating) sheep, a species Dagfrid has never seen but which offers, at last, a solution to the fish problem. McGuinness’s translation renders the story’s laughs convincingly, and saturated vignettes from Tallec (This Book Will Get You to Sleep!) snag the amusing expressions of Dagfrid’s new associates—and those of their sheep, too. Though the gender role comedy plays well, talk of colonizing land wades into murkier territory; throughout, the main attraction is Dagfrid’s brisk, impatient voice. All characters read as white. Ages 6–8. (Apr.)