Published by: Penguin
The Story in a Nutshell:
A wild little troll runs away from home because he doesn't want to do his chores. Rollo tries living with various woodland animals, but he finds out that there is no place like home, and returns to his family just in time for "the best Christmas ever."
Among the animals who take him in are an owl family, a mother bear and two rambunctious cubs, some playful river otters, a hungry lynx and a friendly moose family.
Jan Brett creates an irresistible, mischievous character that kids will recognize in themselves. Jan transports us to a glorious Scandinavian landscape where a beautiful fall turns into a magnificent snowy winter.
Why I picked this off the shelf ?
Jan Brett's illustrations, naturally. They are just stunning. I've been a fan of hers for nearly 35 years. Has it been that long? Yes, I remember buying my little boy, David, her "Mittens.." book when he was about 5 years old, and I had bought his older brother and sister Jan Brett books before that! She's been around a while, thankfully. And, her books are so gorgeous.
What made me hesitate ?
This is a book for ages 3-5, and while my grandson is a precocious 3 yr. old, I wondered if the illustrations weren't a bit detailed for a child that young.
There's a lot going on in this book. I always thought Jan's books were more simplified for this age group, as was the "Mitten..," but this one is more complicated than I remembered them being. Although the illustrations are stunning, it seemed over-whelming, even for me!
Why I decided to go ahead and buy it :
What pushed me over the edge into purchasing the book had to do with three things:
1) Classic Jan Brett ~ First Edition volume ~ gorgeous illustration, Collection Book for my grandson. We are building a children's library for him of special books.
2) The rascally little troll in trouble and on an adventure, reminded me of my "Spidey" grandboy so much! He's just the sort of child who's inquisitive and ready to take chances for a discovery, but he always wants to stay close to home.
3) If he doesn't get all the nuances of the book this year, he will in the years to come!
Grandpop mailed this "Before Christmas" book right out to our "Spidey" grandboy. Coincidentally, he just got a letter from us last week about an otter shimmying across the road and stopping traffic in Naples, FL. So, he's going to like this little troll encountering a river otter in his new Christmas book, I think. :]
Grammie Bee gives this 4 Moosey Moos