Children's Books

Storytime Feature: “Trouble with Trolls” by Jan Brett

“Then I knew what to do. I reached around and unbuckled my skis. I held them so the sun would sparkle on their shiny paint. I shook them so the trolls could hear their tiny bells. I waved them through the air, making a swoosh, swoosh sound. Finally I whispered, as if it were a big secret, “I can fly with these.”

This is the very copy of Trouble with Trolls by Jan Brett from a Scholastic book order that dates back to my nostalgic days of elementary school.

*Sigh.* Book orders… just writing those two words totally takes me back.

I have distinct memories of laying on my bed, topped with a pink and white gingham comforter, listening to an accompanying recording of the book. Even all these years later I can recall the storyteller’s voice and how she pronounced words ending in the letter “s.” I would follow along as I listened and then start it over again and again, yearning for the story to continue. The pages are dogeared, the spine well-worn. My hot pink colored pencil scribblings are still inside the bent cover with a chunk missing out of the corner (which I conveniently hid under a bottle brush tree for the photo). I love how books age much like we do… wrinkles and all.

With winter lingering on the snowy mountain tops and cozy-nights-in more appealing than usual, this is such a fun picture book to curl up with. What I found so charming as a child is the dual storyline of the cute hedgehog told only through the illustrations. Jan Brett’s exquisite attention to texture details is mind boggling! From Tuffi’s dog fur to Treva’s knitted sweater, to the natural forest elements woven throughout the story all framed in painted cross-stitch borders, there is a satisfying visual feast to enjoy on every page. I’m tempted to invest in a magnifying glass just to take it all in. The tale itself is charming and engaging with Treva’s clever solutions to out-wit the tricky thieving trolls.

There are few things that bring me the kind of simple joy that a well-written and illustrated children’s book does. If you’re looking for a beautiful addition to your collection that will stand the test of time, I highly recommend Trouble with Trolls!

Love & Light,

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