D'aulaire's Book of Trolls
Trolls of all kinds—mountain trolls, forest trolls, trolls who live underwater and trolls who live under bridges, uncouth, unkempt, unbearable, unforgettable, and invariably unbelievably ugly trolls—fill the pages of D’Aulaires’ Book of Trolls, the spectacularly illustrated and delightfully entertaining companion volume to the much-acclaimed D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths.
Here the husband-and-wife team of Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire explore the shadow side of Norse mythology, the night world in which the trolls work their wiles and carry on in the most bizarre and entertaining fashions, hunting for babies to eat or squabbling with each other in the blueberry patch. Trolls with multiple heads, trolls with heads they carry under their arms, and trolls with only one eye to share around, along with troll wives, whose long red noses are just the thing for stirring soup, roam the mountains of the north by night and retreat by day to sleep in caves full of silver and gold.
With their matchless talent as storytellers and illustrators, the d’Aulaires bring to life the weird and wonderful world of Norse mythology.
Ingri Mortenson and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire met at art school in Munich in 1921. Edgar’s father was a noted Italian portrait painter, his mother a Parisian. Ingri, the youngest of five children, traced her lineage back to the Viking kings.
The couple married in Norway, then moved to Paris. As Bohemian artists, they often talked about emigrating to America. “The enormous continent with all its possibilities and grandeur caught our imagination,” Edgar later recalled.
A small payment from a bus accident provided the means. Edgar sailed alone to New York where he earned enough by illustrating books to buy passage for his wife. Once there, Ingri painted portraits and hosted modest dinner parties. The head librarian of the New York Public Library’s juvenile department attended one of those. Why, she asked, didn’t they create picture books for children?
The d’Aulaires published their first children’s book in 1931. Next came three books steeped in the Scandinavian folklore of Ingri’s childhood. Then the couple turned their talents to the history of their new country. The result was a series of beautifully illustrated books about American heroes, one of which, Abraham Lincoln, won the d’Aulaires the American Library Association’s Caldecott Medal. Finally they turned to the realm of myths.
In their nearly five-decade career, the d’Aulaires received high critical acclaim for their distinguished contributions to children’s literature. They were working on a new book when Ingri died in 1980 at the age of seventy-five. Edgar continued working until he died in 1985 at the age of eighty-six.
Publishers Weekly awarded the recently released New York Review Children’s Collection edition of D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Mythsthe 2005 “Cuffie” Award for the book they were happiest to see back in print.
Available once again, this beautifully lithographed collection of lore introduces children to some of traditional literature’s bad boys (and girls).— School Library Journal
Over their nearly five-decade career, Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire penned and illustrated nearly 30 books, winning them wide acclaim and several awards. Trolls, originally released in 1972, was among this lauded group. New York Review Books has now returned it to print, and we have two words to say about that: Thank you. Trolls combines charming tales from Norse folklore with a fantasy traveler’s guide to the hairy beasts. We learn about forest trolls, mountain trolls and bridge trolls—their habitats, habits and even number of heads. We meet three creatures who share a single removable eyeball, and cursed princesses who burp toads. But nothing’s too scary: The lithographed pictures have a warm, hand-drawn look that transforms all beasts from horrific to humorous. The press reprinted another of the couple’s classics last year, D’Aularies’ Book of Norse Myths, with a preface by novelist Michael Chabon. This new entry in the collection arrives without endorsement, but trust us, it doesn’t need one.— Time Out New York Kids
The D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths taught a generation about the legends on which much of literature is based. Now their D’Aulaires’ Book of Trolls by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, first published in 1972, returns to print to shed light on another staple of Norway: the magical trolls, “as old and moss-grown as the mountains themselves,” in all their diversity.— Publishers Weekly
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