Ideal nighttime stories for children: Seven Ways to Trick a Troll

Oneota Reading Journal

Lunge-Larsen_Seven coverThis story first offers some background information regarding the culture of trolls. It does not geographically place the story in Norway, however the illustrations indicate mountains similar to Norway. It does mention northern Minnesota as a location to spot remains of trolls as they are now extinct. Having lived in prime Norwegian “troll” country for many years, the story line was very familiar. The background information is followed by seven descriptions of troll weaknesses, each with a story to illustrate the weakness. The portrayal of trolls finds them easy to fool due to their tiny brains and having an evil intent to, at the very least, create mischief. Each of the seven stories would be ideal night time stories for children. At the end is two pages of instructions for how to spot remains of trolls out in nature. The illustrations are lovely. They would spark a child’s creativity without being scary or be the stuff of nightmares. The illustrations clearly show how trolls connected physically with nature. The story line is descriptive and clear. It lends itself to a great read aloud book. In addition to humans and trolls, there is a dwarf and a gnome in the story. This book follows the culture I experienced in rural Norway. Trolls were used to explain or call attention to nature. When we hiked in the forest we looked for “skogs trolls” (forest trolls), and when we were crossing a bridge we looked for “bru trolls” (bridge trolls), etc. It gave adults a topic to discuss with children by drawing attention to the beauty and wonder of nature. They even call little girls in Norway “Sharm trolls” or charming trolls! I did not experience trolls as being only negative. Trolls were celebrated much like leprechauns in Ireland.


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