I think I’m regressing to my past the nearer I get to 60 as I am finding I love reading children’s fiction more and more. Consequently I’m delighted to be part of this celebration of two books by Ron Butlin, illustrated by James Hutchinson; Here Come the Trolls and Day of the Trolls and I would like to thank fellow blogger Kelly at Lovebooks for inviting me to participate.
Here Come the Trolls
Through gaps in the roof we didn’t repair
through cracks in the walls we pretended weren’t there…
…the trolls have come creeping
while we were all sleeping.
Trolls on your chair, trolls in your bed –
is anything worse than a troll on your head?
What happens when your house is invaded by trolls – mischievous creatures who do nothing but cause havoc and mayhem? Find out in this zany and charming book which tells you how to get rid of them for good and make your house a troll-free zone!
Day of the Trolls
It’s the Day of the Trolls: Fart-Fart and all the trolls are back!
Join them in the shopping mall where they go wild, causing havoc as they overrun the place. But when they follow sign saying All Trolls – This Way, things turn out very differently to what Flycatcher, Bumscratcher, SnotFace, Squeer and the rest of them expected …
There’s a free audio book version of each of these books available and all you need to do is email BCBBooks@Birlinn.co.uk and say ‘Hello! Please send me my free audio copy of Here Come the Trolls/Day of the Trolls’ and you’ll receive an exclusive download code and link.
My Review of Here Come the Trolls and Day of the Trolls
Trolls are rude, ill-mannered and thoroughly revolting as they creep through holes in houses or cause havoc in shopping centres.
These two books are brilliant. Children of all ages will love the irreverent behaviour of the kind we’ve all wanted to carry out at times like poking our tongues out at others and mis-behaving in public.
I always revert to being a literacy consultant when faced with children’s fiction and look for the opportunities to promote reading, speaking and literacy in children’s fiction. Ron Butlin’s books do that in spades. The rhyme schemes are great, allowing children the opportunity to explore and have fun with language. I especially liked the invented compound adjectives like ‘fart-ripping’ that will appeal to even the most reluctant of readers. The rhythms of the language are vibrant and engaging and there’s a good use of an almost musical refrain too in Here Come the Trolls so that I think the books lend themselves brilliantly to reading aloud with children. The onomatopoeic words add to this effect with lovely examples like ‘slurp’ and children can enhance their vocabulary with new words like ‘luminous’.
Aside from the language development aspects, both The Day of the Trolls and Here Come the Trolls have really good narratives too with all kinds of adventures as the trolls create havoc so that not only are both books educational, they are fun too.
However, I actually felt sorry for the trolls as they are vilified in a window display or kicked out of the house and I think there are so many possibilities for discussion with children about how the trolls behave and are treated.
It’s impossible to review these two books without actually paying tribute to the phenomenal illustrations too. James Hutcheson enhances Ron Butlin’s words brilliantly so that each page is a real work of art.
I loved both Here Come the Trolls and Day of the Trolls and think children aged 3 – 93 will love them too.
About Ron Butlin
Ron Butlin is a poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer and opera librettist whose works have been broadcast in the UK and abroad and have been translated into many languages. His volumes of poetry include the award-winning Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars (Secker & Warburg, 1985) and Histories of Desire (Bloodaxe, 1995). His New and Selected Poems was published by Barzan in 2005. His novels include the novels The Sound of My Voice (winner of the Prix Mille Pages 2004 and Prix Lucioles 2005, both for Best Foreign Novel), Night Visits and most recently Belonging. He was appointed Edinburgh Makar in May 2008.
About James Hutcheson
James Hutcheson is Creative Director at Birlinn. He has been designing books, book jackets and album covers for many years. Based in Edinburgh UK, working as an illustrator, typographer, cartoonist and graphic designer James’ portfolio includes album covers for artists as diverse as Steve Winwood, The Incredible String Band and the mighty Phil Cunningham.
You can follow James on Twitter @SKARPHEDON.
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