Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas

4.5 2
by Jan Brett
     
 

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A wild little troll runs away from home because he doesn't want to do his chores. Rollo tries living with various woodland animals, but he finds out that there is no place like home, and returns to his family just in time for "the best Christmas ever."

Among the animals who take him in are an owl family, a mother bear and two rambunctious cubs, some playful river

Overview

A wild little troll runs away from home because he doesn't want to do his chores. Rollo tries living with various woodland animals, but he finds out that there is no place like home, and returns to his family just in time for "the best Christmas ever."

Among the animals who take him in are an owl family, a mother bear and two rambunctious cubs, some playful river otters, a hungry lynx and a friendly moose family.

Jan Brett creates an irresistible, mischievous character that kids will recognize in themselves. Jan transports us to a glorious Scandinavian landscape where a beautiful fall turns into a magnificent snowy winter. Her signature borders depict the troll family missing Rollo, and animals as appealing as those found in The Mitten.

A warm, fun-loving Christmas picture book for families to share and love and laugh over together.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Tired of being asked to do chores, Rollo, “a very wild troll,” runs away from home in Brett’s (The 3 Little Dassies) atmospheric holiday adventure. Set in the mountains of Sweden, the book introduces a cast of naturalistic woodland animals, portrayed in intricate detail in Brett’s watercolor and gouache paintings. As Rollo befriends various animal families (that more or less tolerate his presence), borders resembling birch bark depict the goings-on back home, where his family obviously misses him, and preview which creatures he will next encounter. The reformed Rollo’s homecoming, just in time for Christmas celebrations, is foregone yet no less heartwarming. Ages 3–5. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
In order to lose his troll tail, Rollo needs to be kind and helpful; however, he is a young, wild troll who did not want to help his parents or little sister. One day, Rollo decides to take off so that he can do whatever he wants to do. Rollo stays with different animal families, starting with the owls until it came time for the owlets to fly. He moved on to stay with the bears, then the otters, a lynx, and the moose family. Christmas is near and suddenly, the fun ends when he realizes he misses his family and home. Rollo wants to go home. The intricately detailed illustrations on every page and Brett's trademark borders are a pleasure to see. Readers who are familiar with Brett's style will find a subplot in the borders along with cleverly disguised pictures within the lichen, moss, and knots in the wood. The colorful end pages have a festive look. Be sure to check the author's website for activities and a list of her books. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—A naughty little troll learns a lesson just in time for Christmas in this Scandinavian-flavored tale. Trolls, readers learn, only lose their tails when they are kind and helpful, and that does not describe wild child Rollo, who never helps out. In fact, he runs away from home looking for a family that won't require him to contribute. The owl and bear families don't work out, and as the year progresses toward winter and the weather gets colder, Rollo realizes he wants to be home, which is fortunately just down the mountain. One moose antler toboggan ride later, he meets up with his family, and his kind and helpful behavior on Christmas Eve results in a lost tail for this reformed character. The story isn't one of Brett's finest, but, as always, the charming illustrations are filled with wonderful detail.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

The snowy Scandinavian setting used in Brett's previous stories about trolls is again the backdrop for this latest Christmas offering from the beloved and prolific illustrator.

This time a little troll boy named Rollo learns a lesson about good behavior and helping others. Trolls have a tail until they show their maturity through their actions, and Rollo has little chance of losing his tail due to his consistently bad behavior. After he deposits the family pig on top of the roof, Rollo runs away from home looking for greener pastures. He tries living with owls, bears, otters, a lynx and moose, growing more homesick with each new environment before sliding back home on a moose-antler sled. His family has been sadly and faithfully waiting for his return, caring for his pet hedgehog and preparing his Christmas gifts. Their actions are illustrated in heart-shaped vignettes tucked into Brett's signature border designs, which in this offering are particularly effective, with a birch-bark texture and tiny surprise-filled pockets in the corners. As always, Brett's illustrations are filled with well-researched details in costumes, decorations and Christmas toys. The satisfying conclusion shows the troll family in their striped pajamas gathered around the fire, "all together, singing and telling stories far into the night."

A cozy Christmas present for Brett's devoted fans. (author's note)(Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399256530
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
224,167
Product dimensions:
11.22(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.42(d)
Lexile:
AD780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.

As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."

As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."

Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."

With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.

As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."

As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."

Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."

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Home for Christmas 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
BevHeart More than 1 year ago
I love all of Jan Brett's books. The illustrations are remarkable, intricate and complex, yet comprehensible for a young reader. Rich stories for a fresh mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a retired second grade teacher, Jan Brett was and continues to be one of my favorite children's authors. The children were always mesmerized by the stories and illustrations as the richly and intricately illustrated margins made way for excited predctions. I now have a three-year old granddaughter who has fallen under Jan Brett's spell and anticipates all her books! I definitely recommend Jan Brett books for all parents...from board books on...There are many accompanying activities and lots of great ideas on her website.