A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
The ogre eats some villagers and their livestock, and finally the maiden who uses a sword to escape.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this clever fairy tale includes a maiden-eating ogre and the maiden who cuts her way out of the ogre's belly, slashing his black heart. This bit of violence is told in prose and doesn't look gory on the page. If kids are fine with the darker moments of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, they'll be OK with this one.
Is It Any Good?
This is a tall tale with all the earmarks of becoming a classic. The story is engaging, both humorous and a little scary, and the illustrations, from the woebegone look on the girl's face to the ghastly gulpings of the gluttonous ogre, are captivating.
In a friendly narrative voice accented here and there with humorous details, poetic chants, and the growling roars of the ogre, Brock Cole tells the story in language reminiscent of classic fairy tales. His lively, expressive rapid-wash watercolors build on that tone by adding even more playful detail: Mice spill out of the grizzled ogre's kettle helmet, the eyes of townspeople bug out in fear as the ogre pounds on the gate, tongues wag, mouths pout, and animals squawk through the air in the chaos that ensues.
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