Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Bera: The One-Headed Troll, by Eric Orchard. First Second, Raincoast. 2016. $24.99 ages 8 and up
Ahem! Hello Human!
Worth a try ...
hello, little one.
How did you com to my
Maybe it doesn't speak Trollish?
Bera is a humble and content one headed troll who enjoys her life as a pumpkin farmer in service to the troll king. And then, she hears a baby cry. Humans are not meant to be in the troll lands. Bera is distraught when she comes upon that baby being tormented by mean-spirited, ugly mermaids. Filled with compassion for the little one, she tries to find an explanation for its presence.
Cloote, a witch who was once close to the troll king, provides the answer. She wants to use that baby to create a monster. Bera is having none of it! She and her owl Winslowe seek guidance from heroes found in Bera's beloved books. Perhaps one of them can help to get the baby home. Bera's search leads her to meetings with various entities, all willing to do what they can to tangle with Cloote and help Bera in her attempt to find the baby a forever home.
Her kindness and her willingness to seek help for a quest she finds a trifle overwhelming puts her in touch with those who will change her life for the better. A one-headed troll may lack the strength and power that those with two or three headed ones have; Bera surpasses all with the size of her heart and her capacity for caring. She is quite the hero. Family is at the center of her story, no matter how it is defined.
Terrific graphic art, a quick pace and a number of obstacles make this a book that many readers will appreciate and want to share with others.