Thursday, October 6, 2016

Troll Stinks! By Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Andersen Children's Books)

Here at ReaditDaddy we definitely champion the cause of any book that addresses the thorny subject of bullying in any form...
Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross have come up with a story that highlights the latest form of bullying to hit the headlines. "Cyber Bullying" - using the internet or email to send abusive messages to others - is a subject that you really don't see coming up that often in children's picture books but it's nonetheless a very important issue to raise.

The subject is in good hands here, expert hands in fact as we already know that Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross are a dream team, collaborating on so many fantastic children's stories and producing modern classics that hit all the right notes.

Again here, Jeanne and Tony have taken the genius idea of familiarising the situation in "Troll Stinks" by linking it to a well-loved story.

All children will probably know the story of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" where a rather nasty Troll got its come-uppance at the hands (or hooves) of three goats who only wanted to cross a bridge to eat the sweet, sweet grass on the other side.

In "Troll Stinks" the next generation of gruff goats are a pair of mischievous boys. When Billy finds the farmer's lost mobile phone, he joins up with his best friend Cyril to plan a day of mischief and tricks, culminating in some rather horrid text messages to Troll.

The boys' seemingly harmless japery isn't seen as harmless from the Troll's perspective though, and when they decide to escalate their mischief by taking a picture of the nasty old Troll in his lair, they're in for a huge surprise...

(We're not going to spoil the book for you but oh my, what a genius move and what a fantastic bit of flipping a story on its head to make a point - Jeanne and Tony, you really pulled that off spectacularly!)

We so need books like this, we really do - to help educate youngsters right off the bat about things they may see as seemingly a bit of harmless leg-pulling or fun, but are not always seen like that from the other person's perspective. The message is expertly delivered, and this is a fantastic picture book for modern times that should definitely finds its way into schools and libraries everywhere.

Charlotte's best bit: Naughty Billy and Cyril heading off to the Troll cave for embarrassing photo opportunities

Daddy's favourite bit: A truly brilliantly devised children's story, expertly dealing with the subject of cyber-bullying in an extremely clever and thought-provoking way. The message is delivered fantastically, and it will definitely stick in the minds of any children that it's read to.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Andersen Children's Books)

"Troll Stinks!"

Written by Jeanne Willis

Illustrated by Tony Ross

Published by Andersen Press

Publication Date: 6th October 2016

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