I have several books that I can choose for more than one copy. I was going to go with The Hobbit, of which I have the 50th anniversary paperback, the 50th anniversary hardback, and the 1997 or 2000 Alan Lee illustrated hardback.
But I could have chosen a host of children’s books, including Dogger, Fortunately the Milk, The Tale of Jack Frost, The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon, Dixie O’Day in the Fast Lane, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, complete Beatrix Potters, various Roald Dahl, and if you count different versions of fairy tales then I’ve no idea how many copies we might have…
However I’ve decided to use #BookADay to make a chink in the pile of review books that we have so today’s book is one I have to keep in hardback and paperback because of my friend ReadItDaddy‘s quote on the paperback edition 🙂
Troll and the Oliver: Adam Stower (Templar Publishing, 2013)
This was one of my top picture books for 2013 but I still haven’t written about it properly. It’s one of those books that you love so much so you know you can never do it justice and therefore don’t write about it at all. Well, that’s what I do…
Troll and the Oliver is funny and subversive. I adore subversive picture books. I’m afraid this is going to be a spoilery review, so for a quick synopsis to avoid spoilers have a look at the top picture books post, otherwise be warned if you continue reading.
Walking back from the park today, in the sun and having not read this book for several weeks (we do have over 700 picture books to get through) I asked Danger Girl (5) whether she liked Troll and the Oliver? Yes, she replied. What’s your favourite bit of the book, I asked? When the Troll eats Oliver, she grinned.
This is a story that sticks in children’s heads, it chews up the rules and spits them out in a laugh-out-loud surprise, that’s quickly turned into a bigger laugh and a fabulous ending.
In Troll and The Oliver, the little boy is the antagonist. He’s not Oliver, he’s an Oliver and Troll becomes not a Troll, but the protagonist in his own right. This is Troll’s story, and the meany Oliver is making his life a misery by not letting Troll catch and eat him.
Obviously, from DG’s favourite bit of the book, Troll eventually does catch the Oliver. Have you ever seen the Loony Tunes episode where Wile E Coyote catches Road Runner? This is the book equivalent, but with a more satisfying ending for all concerned.
I can’t praise this book highly enough, and recommend it to all. Both MG and DG think it’s amazing, and it leads to lots of interesting conversations about conventions in story telling.
Disclosure: Troll and the Oliver received for review from Templar Publishing