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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

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Three versions of a Christmas troll story

The Cat on the Dovrefell: A Christmas Tale - George Desant Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve? - Jan Brett Favorite Tales of Monsters and Trolls  (A Random House Pictureback) - George Jonsen

I didn't realize when I ordered Tomie DePaola's  The Cat on the Dovrefell: A Christmas Tale that it was an adaptation of a story I already had two versions of.

Basic plot: a person is traveling in Finnmark on Christmas Eve with a polar bear. (In DePaola's and I believe also in Jan Brett's version he is taking the bear to show to the king.) Looking for a night's shelter, he finds a house full of food, but the owner warns him that every year the trolls come and devour the Christmas feast. The family is on their way out to hide till the party is over. The man and bear stay and when the trolls come and bother the "cat" that is snoozing under the stove the bear chases them away.

Of the three versions I've read, DePaola's is the simplest, both in text and in illustrative style. It can be viewed quickly and is not confusing or frightening. Suitable for quite small children.

Most complex is Brett's Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve?, which features her distinctive beautiful and highly detailed painting. Her style is the most realistic and includes many details and elements drawn from the culture and artistry of Scandinavia. She also adds details to the text, giving names to the characters, etc.

My favorite, perhaps because it was the one I had as a little child, is the one included in George Jonsen's Favorite Tales Of Monsters And Trolls along with other tales of trolls being outwitted. I love the expressive illustrations and think this version best captures the riotousness of the scenes. The text is very lively. I didn't find it scary as a child, but I can see that some kids might.