Troll Forest

A Norwegian Tale

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 02/15/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Alex Ndirangu for Readers' Favorite

Troll Forest: A Norwegian Tale is a picture book for children written by Donna Marie Seim and illustrated by Susan Spellman. It introduces us to Peter, a fourteen-year-old boy who is traversing the Norwegian countryside. After three days of hard work in a faraway land, Peter is heading home with the few kroner (coins) he has earned. But darkness falls before Peter makes it home, and he camps for the night beside a stream. In the dead of the night, Peter awakes to thundering voices ringing out of the forest's depths. A large woman emerges, carrying a giant pan, and scoops an enormous salmon from the stream. She stacks a pile of logs and magically lights them. A larger man, about ten feet tall, emerges moments later with a youngster on his shoulders and joins the woman. Could these be the trolls Peter had heard so much about from the folks in his village? And, if they are, will they be as devious and untrustworthy with Peter as the troll legends suggest?

Troll Forest was lovely. It fulfilled all the requirements for a fantastic, fast-paced adventure. As Peter strides into the forest and night approaches, incredible Norwegian mysteries of old and the secrets of the deep forest begin to unravel. You can't wait to learn more about the trolls' secretive livelihood and how they manage to leave no trace of their nighttime escapades. The illustrations are vibrant and elaborate. They are so creative that they vividly display the characters' traits. Peter is not only hardworking but also a brave and compassionate young man. Every attribute about him is described and expressed in actions, as evidenced in the illustrations. Troll Forest highlights the excellent research and time invested by Donna Marie Seim and illustrator Susan Spellman. It is appropriate for children of all ages. The moral lesson embedded in it will instill in children the importance of being brave and hardworking. Adults will also enjoy learning more about the mystery of trolls.