Friday, March 5, 2010

How the Trollusk Got His Hat

How Trollusk Got His Hat
Mercer Mayer ~ Merrigold Press, 1979

Did someone request an unredeeming monster book? It's Friday, so I figured it's an OK day to scale back the class and go silly. Featuring some of the characters from Mayer's magnum opus One Monster After Another, here we learn how that curious little Stamp-Collecting Trollusk got his super swanky top hat. Told in Mayer's busy-busy style, it's another book that you can spend hours simply studying the background drama... luscious mini illustration subplot after subplot. A fun end to the seventies, the decade that saw Mayer at his most awesome. And so... when Reggie McLeod sets off for a walk to town one day (looking very dapper indeed), he's shocked when a strong gust of wind blows his hat off and carries it away...

The wind carried Reggie's hat miles and miles across the sky to the Edge of Nowhere and blew it through an open window and into a pot of tango soup which a Stamp-Collecting Trollusk was making for dinner.

Well, while Reggie is driving himself mad trying to locate his lost chapeau, the Trollusk is trying his darndest to return it. That's basically it in a nutshell. The Trollusk wants to be a nice guy, but every where he turns, people think he's a freak and run the other way. (I mean, he is a monster, after all.)

Reggie, in the meantime, tries to take his mind off his lost treasure (always just missing the Trollusk), and finally resigns himself to buying a new hat. It's only then that the main characters run into each other, hats are exchanged and the two become the best of friends.

Sadly, it's around this time that Mercer's imagination for silly kids' books seems to have "jumped the shark." From here on out he focuses mainly on building brands rather than creating new, original characters. He did continue to do some gorgeous high-art fairy tale renderings (similar to Beauty and the Beast), but for me, they just aren't the same as monsters making friends and little boys with frogs and crazy magicians and made up machines... But I can't say that I blame him. I guess we all have to grow up sometime.

Also by:
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
Bubble Bubble
One Frog Too Many
Little Monster at Work


David L Rattigan said...

Thanks for this, and for the pics. I loved this book as a kid, and if you recall, I emailed you a few months ago asking if you recognized my description. Definitely going to get me another copy some time, and probably mail it to my niece and nephews.

I love how when you see pictures you haven't seen for 25 years you instantly remember elements like it was yesterday.

Burgin Streetman said...

i do remember. i'm still kicking myself for not remembering!

Antmusic said...

There's even those "Island Joe" references.... sub plots that skim all of his monster books. Thanks Scribbler!

Heather said...

My son LOVES this book! The copy we have is the one I grew up reading. My favorite thing (and quickly becoming my son's, too) was to find the zipperump-a-zoo in every picture...and, of course, the Island Joe advertising!

Joanna said...

Thank you so much for posting this!!!! I've been looking for years for the name of this book and no one knew what I was talking about. I learned to read on this book and I LOVED it growing up

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