The Terrible Troll-Bird
Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
first published 1933 by Doubleday Doran & Co as Ola and Blakken, then retitled, rewritten and reillustrated in 1976 by Doubleday & Co. ~ 2007 edition available from NYRB
Of late, my son has been on a d'Aulaire kick, so I thought I'd give this one a nod as well. Looking through the pages even now gives me the semi-shivers. When I was wee, the mere mention of this over-sized chicken and his troll-y masters would send me into a massive spell of the heebie-jeebies. I guess it's a boy thing, because my son is crazy for it. With him, anytime something evens hints at smashing something else, he digs it. Figures.
Starring the previously reviewed Ola, this is what happens when you roast a troll's rooster.
"Where is the wood you were to bring?" she asked.
"We can't bring you any wood today," said Ola, "for a big, bad bird wants to take our Blakken."
"I have never heard such silly talk, to think that a bird could fly off with a horse," said their mother. But as she turned around she saw the huge bird landing on top of the storehouse. It was so big it had to perch on both roofs. "Oh, for all the world's pancakes," she cried.
"It is the terrible rooster that belongs to the trolls in the mountain."
The signature, lush illustrations of this husband and wife team tell a wonderful tale, half in black and white and half in color... all in a style that makes the characters look woolly and warm. The gigantic cock-a-doodle-doo is a hoot, with colorful feathers that (literally) explode off the page. Let's just say it takes a village to cook a chicken, but simple, common sense to trap a troll.
D'Aulaire's Book of Animals
D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
Don't Count Your Chicks