Tiny Troll does all he can to keep his beloved mommy from going out and leaving him with a sitter.
McNiff’s entertaining text convincingly conveys the mercurial wave of emotions a toddler troll experiences when his mother’s time and attention are about to be taken away. Whining at the announcement that she is attending a party “only for grown-ups” leads to his clinging to her as she paints her claws, waxes her tail and rubs “slime into her scales.” Once she is ready, “Tiny Troll took one look at his mommy and loved her so much he nearly popped!” But off she must go, and his adoration quickly turns to rejection and then a full-out temper tantrum that subsides into tears. Kindly Mrs. Hag coaxes him out of his despair with mugs of mudmilk and a good story. Soon, the red-and-white-striped-pajama–clad monster succumbs to bedtime. Wise preschoolers will relate to the young monster’s passionate reactions while eagerly poring over the gross yet silly details in the watercolor, gouache, pen and pencil illustrations. All ends well as Mommy wakes Tiny Troll with a kiss good night and a gift of his favorite treat—“a bag of rotten worms.”
The just-right blend of drama and humor—all from a juvenile troll’s point of view—results in a story sure to elicit giggles, delighted screams of “eww” and plenty of happy-ending “aww”s. (Picture book. 3-6)