Helga's Dowry: A Troll Love Story
Tomie de Paola ~ Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977
One of my favorite things about children's book illustrators is that each has their own unique style, setting them apart from the rest. Tomie is one of those authors who you can easily name on sight from ten yards away in a raging blizzard at midnight with sunglasses on. The scrunched bodies and bold, washed colors. Just wonderful.
Here, we find the story of one troll woman and her search for love.
Helga was the loveliest Troll in three parishes. But, alas, having been orphaned as a Troll Child, she was also the poorest. So when Handsome Lars asked for her hand in marriage, Helga said, "But, Lars, I don't have a dowry. How can we marry without one? It is the law."
When Lars promises himself to a more fully-endowed troll, Helga takes matters into her own hands. With a good amount of cool and a knack for outsmarting the lazy, vain, and greedy, Helga soon makes herself one of the wealthiest ladies in town. But alas, true love doesn't always conquer all, and sometimes the one you are meant to adore isn't the one you imagined.... for it is better to be loved for who you are rather than what you're worth.
One silly thing about Tomie, on his website he has a list of links to things that he loves... including the company where be buys his iconic glasses, a link to Saab in case you want to drive what he drives, his favorite cheese and flour and meats, and a link to Netflix because he loves movies that much. This list of everyday loves -- along with a nice write up on his creative process -- makes a trip to his site a treat indeed.
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