Mercer Mayer ~ Troll, 1973
By now you should all know I am a huge vintage Mercer Mayer fan, so anytime I stumble across one I haven't seen since 1976, it totally blows my mind. I was at my local used book shop this week, flipping through the paperbacks like I always do, and I came across this $2 treasure... but seriously, I would have paid $50 for the memories it instantly evoked within me. Me, sitting Indian-style (or criss-cross applesauce as they call it in these evolved times) in the library... I remember loving Mercer's often frugality of words. His trust in letting the pictures tell the story so thoroughly. His sense of spooky, just titillating enough to give goosebumps but not scary enough to make you put it down. The wonderful nostalgia his characters create with their innocent hearts and period dress. And here, the bubbles, oh the wonderful bubbles!One day as I was walking, I bumped into a bubble. It wasn't just one bubble, but lots of bubbles. And they weren't just any kind of bubbles, they were magic bubbles. So I bought a magic bubble maker and said good-bye. I started blowing bubbles, magic bubbles, everywhere. Then suddenly, something strange happened!
Something strange indeed! In a flash, a long bubble turns into a fanged reptile... that is then chased away by a fierce feline... that is then scared by a giant elephant... frightened away by a tiny mouse. After the boy has had enough of this crazy magic, he pours the bubble juice onto the ground and walks off.
Anyway, everyone knows there's no such thing as magic bubbles.
Well, tell that to the creature rising from the bubble pool. Pure magic. Mercer's stuff just kills me with delight, and this one in particular holds such fond memories of childhood for me. Wonderful drawings, great story. Seeing it again there on the shelf took my breath away.
Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp
One Monster After Another
Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-A-Zoo
Me and My Flying Machine
Beauty and the Beast
A Special Trick
Little Monster at Work
How the Trollusk Got His Hat