Storytellers and Maynard Moose–lovers celebrate! There’s a wonderfully wacky new folksy tale for you.
Maynard (Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs, 2011, etc.) tells of Bully Goat Grim, a goat who is suffering from “Random Hostility Syndrome,” which causes him to lower his horns and head-butt cute, fluffy forest creatures. The kindly, though strange, troll family that lives under the bridge takes his challenge—“Beware, beware, the Bully Goat Grim! / Nobody better not mess with him!”—personally, but neither daddy troll nor mommy troll can decide on a way of dealing with the interloper. Luckily, baby troll knows her grammar and comes up with a clever plan that thwarts the goat’s meanness and uses his Random Hostility Syndrome as a source of entertainment. The moral? Learn your grammar and “demember— / nobody likes a dubnoxious beasty.” Claflin peppers his tale with such moose-isms as distremely and angrify, and his Northern Piney Woods amunals include busterflies. There is also some impressive vocabulary on display—trajectory, apogee, process, soporific, synergistic—and, of course, the whole concept of the double negative is at the heart of baby troll’s solution. Stimson’s illustrations are as droll as ever, his characters full of personality, and spreads that are packed with details will require repeat readings to uncover them all.
Between the moose dialect and the story’s twist, this may not be one of your grandmother’s tales, but even she won’t be able to resist a few chuckles. Hysterical. (audio CD) (Fractured fairy tale. 7-12)