Lise Lunge-Larsen is an award-winning author and certified troll expert with the occasional dragonslayer accolades. Naturally, many of her children’s books are centered around Norse mythology. In Seven Ways to Trick a Troll, the author pulls from authentic troll stories from mythology and folklore to compile seven short stories teaching children how to prevent themselves from becoming another ghastly troll-victim statistic. Minnesota Press | October, 2017 | Hardcover | 96 pp | Illustrated by Kari Vick
Each chapter defines a way a troll can be tricked or defeated, such as with sunlight or loud noises, and then provides a story in which a troll, or several trolls, is bested by a child’s wit and cunning. Trolls are known for terrifying small villages, stealing their animals, treasures, and children in the night. They’re also known for being incredibly stupid with brains the size of a walnut. As scary as they might be, and as terrifyingly large as they can be, it is very possible to defeat a mountain troll even when you’re only a fraction of their size. Fear not children! This book will give you the tools you need to trick your neighborhood troll.
Each troll is different. Some have only one eye, some are huge and fat, another shown above (right) has a nose that reaches the ground. But they all have one thing in common – they aren’t very nice to humans. They either want to enslave or cook them up for dinner. They also hoard treasure. It just might be possible to trick a troll to escape AND steal their treasure.
My daughter and I read a chapter each night and she firmly declared Seven Ways to Trick a Troll to be her new favorite. She loved the stories, the illustrations, and the creative ways each child defeated the troll. And so did I. After each story, we had a chance to discuss the perseverance of the main character – I wanted to see if she could single out any positive character attributes that affected the outcome aside from the way the troll was tricked. She loved the stories so much, she was able to pick up on many of them and our discussions were lively.
If you love Norse mythology and would like an early introduction for your children, I highly recommend Seven Ways to Trick a Troll. This is a positively wonderful read with classic, old-world storytelling. Old folklore in a new book!