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There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays!

Home for Christmas

By Jan Brett

Did you know that trolls’ tails only drop off one day if they are kind, helpful, and do their chores? Jan Brett’s legion of devoted young readers and their parents will not be disappointed in her latest book, which is a wonderful primer on the life of a small troll named Rollo. He is definitely not into responsibility or routine, eagerly running away from both. Will he lose his tail by this perfect Christmas tale’s end? It is a journey worth taking with Rollo.

The genesis of this wonderful book with its silvery snowy views of the Scandinavian landscape evolved from a May 2010 trip Jan and her husband made to Sweden. Would Rollo the troll join a reindeer or moose family? This was one of the plot points that needed resolution and it was resolved on a farm in Sweden with Jan gazing into the intelligent eyes and majesty of a moose family. The moose win out.

Her book, with its detailed and trademark borders, finds Rollo fleeing family and the familiar to attempt to find a home with consecutive families of owls, bears, otters, a friendly, but predatory lynx and a ménage of friendly moose.

But a troll on the run eventually hears and smells the scent of home and hearth.

As he swoops and slides down the mountain on an antler toboggan toward the little house that contains his mother, father and sister, will Rollo be a reformed troll, eager on Christmas Eve to make the beds and chop his share of the wood? As he stands on a wooden stool, leaning over to light the candles on the festive family Christmas table, please sneak a peek with your little ones and discover if Rollo’s reformation is complete. Is he indeed minus one troll tail? The tail or lack thereof will tell!

The joy of this rollicking troll tale is certainly in the story, but its magic continues to be found in the magnificent attention to detail, not only in Jan Brett’s magnificent eye catching borders that surround the story, but also in the characterizations of the principals. Even the minor players are eye popping and richly drawn.

My absolute favorite is the pig-pulled sled hauling the troll’s Christmas tree. His hat, harness and coat are worthy motifs for a designer coat and hat set! Could troll wear be a new design trend for Ralph Lauren? Stranger things have happened.

If you are looking for a Christmas book to sit, share and savor with a child, introduce them please to Rollo and company. There is “no place like home” at Christmas and you’re sure to feel the same after sampling this wonderful visit to the Scandinavian tundra with this tiny troll.

Boy, trolls sure can decorate a Christmas tree! Bedecked with woven wooden hearts, red and white polka dotted mushrooms, lighted candles and even a cute prickly hedgehog at its base, theirs could certainly give Martha Stewart a run for her money in decorative detail!  This Christmas please read about this repentant troll with a lesson to learn. It’s the perfect short story!

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