Troll Swap

Overview

Timothy Limpet feels out of place in his troll family. He likes things to be just so, and most trolls, frankly, don’t. Tabitha Lumpit likes things to be loud, loopy, and messy, and she feels like a fish out of water in her very neat family. Sometimes they wonder if their families really see them for who they are. So Timothy and Tabitha swap places . . . with hilarious and touching results.

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Overview

Timothy Limpet feels out of place in his troll family. He likes things to be just so, and most trolls, frankly, don’t. Tabitha Lumpit likes things to be loud, loopy, and messy, and she feels like a fish out of water in her very neat family. Sometimes they wonder if their families really see them for who they are. So Timothy and Tabitha swap places . . . with hilarious and touching results.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/06/2014
Hodgkinson’s (Goldilocks and Just One Bear) splashy spreads keep a formulaic storyline afloat, and so does her winning storytelling voice: “Say hello to Timothy Limpet. Timothy Limpet is a hairy troll who lives somewhere far away.” Timothy is much tidier than his fellow trolls, while Tabitha Lumpit, a human girl, is “loud and loopy and messy,” much to the dismay of her parents. Predictably, they decide to switch places (their respective folks don’t even notice), finding temporary satisfaction in their new lives, then growing bored. Timothy’s hairy blue head, massive underbite, and donkey ears make him a pretty attractive troll; when he and Tabitha meet, they match, with stripes and polka-dots in all the same places and identical antennae (his are real, hers a headband). Big, black, scrawled letters for trollish speech alternate with careful, repressed printing for tidy sorts (“I just want a nice quiet life without big burps and bad manners,” Timothy sighs). Extra pleasure comes from the other trolls, who have the bombastic charm of Wild Things—especially when they’re sipping tea. Ages 3–7. Agent: David Higham, David Higham Associates. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
The delightful mixed-media illustrations and the varying typefaces exhibit a childlike essence and will tickle the funny bones of young readers. The fact that the parents make an attempt to behave a bit like their children is a sweet plus. This charming story with its engaging art will be well received by children.
—School Library Journal

Mixed media illustrations are pleasant and support the story. The lesson, be who you are, is delivered without being preachy. Readers are going to get a kick out of this book!
—Library Media Connection

Happily reminiscent of Mo Willem’s "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed," this is a goofball ode to individualism infused with a childlike zeal. This mostly comes courtesy of Hodgkinson’s mixed-media illustrations, which look plucked from the wall of a first-grade classroom—the characters are built of rough geometric shapes and filled in with the boldest of stripes and colors. Even the hand-drawn font is effective: huge and sprawling for Tabitha and aligned above neat dashed lines for Timothy. Great for your little trolls.
—Booklist

Design elements add much appeal, with childlike stylings and exaggerated perspectives. In a nifty touch, the text in dialogue bubbles is neatly typed for the "nice" characters and looks like clumsy block lettering for the "mucky." Appealing.
—Kirkus Reviews

If you love a girl who "would rather pick her nose than a flower any day of the week," then you're in for a treat. ... Full of flamingo pink, screaming red and lime green, "Troll Swap" features a troll with a charming bulldog underbite and engaging dialogue that's scrawled in black crayon or printed with teacher's pet precision. The scenes in which Tabitha wows the trolls with her bad behavior and Timothy kisses up to the Lumpits by cleaning their daughter's room are delightful, and the conclusion ... is delivered with style and energy.
—The Chicago Tribune

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Timothy Limpet is an unusual, atypical troll. While most trolls are untidy and scary, Timothy is the opposite. He is neat and well-mannered, and this bothers the other trolls. Meanwhile, on the other side of the bridge, there is a little girl named Tabitha Lumpit. Her personality is unlike her polite and orderly parents. Tabitha is boisterous; her idea of fun is jumping in messy, muddy puddles. One day, Timothy and Tabitha literally bump into each other at the bridge and conclude that their personalities are better suited in the other’s world. They decide to swap places. Timothy goes to live with Tabitha’s parents, and Tabitha goes to live with the trolls. Although their personalities are well-suited for the switch, everyone concerned makes an important discovery about individuality. The collage-like illustrations feature facial expressions and behaviors of the characters along with speech bubbles. Children are likely to enjoy the story’s twists, even to the very last page. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung; Ages 3 to 7.
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
PreS-Gr 1—Unlike the rest of his troll family, Timothy Limpet is neat and quiet. Tabitha Lumpit, who "would rather pick her nose than a flower any day," is a small girl who is quite different from her soft-spoken, tidy parents. When Timothy and Tabitha meet by accident, they decide to switch places. The human and the troll are dressed similarly-Tabitha even wears a headband with antennae-so their families humorously never notice the difference. At first, everything is hunky-dory, since the youngsters are behaving as they "should," but soon the children and their parents miss the way life used to be. Tabitha and Timothy decide to return to their own homes where they are different yet special. The delightful mixed-media illustrations and the varying typefaces exhibit a childlike essence and will tickle the funny bones of young readers. The fact that the parents make an attempt to behave a bit like their children is a sweet plus. This charming story with its engaging art will be well received by children.—Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-15
Family...is right where we belong. Most trolls are messy and mucky and like scaring people. The hairy troll named Timothy Limpet is different; he's "nice and polite and tidy." (The other trolls don't like him.) He looks like a crazy quilt: His head is a big blue ball, his cup-shaped body has green polka dots, and his limbs sport colorful stripes. Meanwhile, there's a little girl named Tabitha Lumpit, who's brash and messy and loud and acts altogether like...well, you know. One day, Tabitha and Timothy, not looking where they're going, literally bump heads. Each immediately sees that the other is quite different from what one would expect, and they get an idea—to switch places. Tabitha goes to stay with the trolls, and Timothy moves in with Tabitha's parents. At first, everything works out well. Then Mommy and Daddy start to miss Tabitha, just as the trolls begin to miss Timothy, and both Tabitha and Timothy find being with people just like them is kind of boring. They decide to swap back and "go home, where they belonged," and everybody lives happily ever after. Hodgkinson's story, while hardly revolutionary, is satisfying. Design elements add much appeal, with childlike stylings and exaggerated perspectives. In a nifty touch, the text in dialogue bubbles is neatly typed for the "nice" characters and looks like clumsy block lettering for the "mucky." Appealing. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763671013
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/11/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 342,695
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Leigh Hodgkinson is an award-winning animator and worked as art director on the BAFTA award-winning animated series Charlie and Lola. She is also the illustrator of the Magical Mix-Ups series and the author-illustrator of Goldilocks and Just One Bear. She lives in Sussex, England, with her animator husband and two young children.

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