Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children

Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children

by Conn Iggulden, Lizzy Duncan
     
 

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These are the first three stories of the Tollins. Yes, they do have wings, but no, they aren't fairies. Tollins are a lot less fragile than fairies. In fact, the word fragile can't really be used to describe them at all. They are about as fragile as a house brick.

In "How to Blow Up Tollins" a fireworks factory comes to the village of Chorleywood and

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Overview

These are the first three stories of the Tollins. Yes, they do have wings, but no, they aren't fairies. Tollins are a lot less fragile than fairies. In fact, the word fragile can't really be used to describe them at all. They are about as fragile as a house brick.

In "How to Blow Up Tollins" a fireworks factory comes to the village of Chorleywood and the Tollins find themselves being used as industrial supplies. Being blasted into the night sky or spun round on a Catherine wheel is nowhere near a much fun as it sounds. It's up to one young Tollin to save his people from becoming an ingredient.

In "Sparkler and the Purple Death" our hero looks execution in the face. Luckily, the executioner's mask in backwards.

Finally, in "Windbags and Dark Tollins" Tollin society faces a threat from the Dorset countryside, which, again, is much more frightening and nail-bitingly dramatic than it actually sounds.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—In three stories, each divided into short chapters, Iggulden introduces Tollins, winged creatures that resemble fairies but are bigger and tougher, and live at the bottom of people's gardens. Humans can't see them without special blue glasses. Each tale features Sparkler, a Tollin of "great promise and wondrous brain," whose curiosity prompts him to learn from human books and enables him to solve his community's problems. When, in "How to Blow Up Tollins," workers at the local fireworks factory discover that using Tollins as rocket ammunition produces a shower of blue sparks and begin collecting them in jars, Sparkler devises an alternate fuel that generates similar results. Next, he faces execution for consorting with humans but entices the High Tollin to spare him by offering a cure for the leader's gout. Finally, Sparkler saves the Tollins' tunnels from flooding and his people from becoming the slaves of their dark molelike cousins from Dorset. In an attempt at humor, the writing is sometimes a bit over-the-top, as when guards train with a manual called "A Rough Guide to Guarding," and it may be difficult to root for the freedom of Tollins who use fairies "to wipe out the insides of cups" or blow their noses. But the humorous full-page illustrations that open each chapter, the maps, and the many vignettes throughout bring these creatures to life, and with several clever videos on YouTube and a savethetollins.com Web site, they are sure to have many followers.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
Publishers Weekly
04/27/2015
A deliciously subversive vein runs through this story collection—not surprising coming from the coauthor of The Dangerous Book for Boys. The protagonist, Sparkler, is a tiny winged creature called a "tollin," which should not be confused with a fairy ("Tollins regard fairies as fluttery show-offs and occasionally use them to wipe out the insides of cups"). Indeed, fairies are a running joke in all three stories in this collection, in which Sparkler's scientific curiosity shakes up stagnant tollin culture. In one tale, Sparkler's ingenuity saves the tollins from being used in fireworks for their combustible "tollin dust." In another, he introduces human medicine, "a sensitive subject. Grunion's father had cured his son's athlete's foot by removing the foot. Grunion senior had also recommended it as a cure for ingrown toenails, tennis elbow and dandruff." Iggulden's flair for the ironic and absurd, which recalls Lemony Snicket, should tickle both kids and adults, who will pick up some basic science concepts, such as how hot air balloons and pumps work. Debuting illustrator Duncan is no lesser a comic talent, composing funny scenes using a seamless blend of illustration and photography. All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Patricia Williamson
The illustrations alone are worth the price of this book. The illustrator brought a style and wit to the various pages that not only enhanced the very engagingly silly stories but added value to the reading. This is a collection of stories about "Tollins" who are not fairies, according to the beginning of the book, but are very mischievous little beings that seem to often be in the wrong place at the right time. The stories are laugh-out-loud funny and are actually three chapter stories within the space of a book. These would work well as a read-aloud and each of the stories, as the title implies, are about Tollins helping something happen, often by accident. The bottom line for us humans is, if it had not been for Tollins, we would not have been perceived as being quite as creative as history reports. Thanks to them we have fireworks, understand gravity, and realize the ability of hot air balloons to fly. Maybe you have Tollins in your bag...have you checked lately? Reviewer: Patricia Williamson

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062106384
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/17/2012
Series:
Tollins , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
35 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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