A fantastical story about a troll with a very big appetite and a very frustrated pug. This is worth reading to purely to find out how Pete the pug gets his revenge.
Uncle Boll is a big blue troll and he likes to eat. He will eat almost anything – and everything. When Moll asks Uncle Boll to puppy-sit her pug, Pete, she’s therefore very careful to make sure there is plenty of all types of food – bread and cheese, coleslaw, crackers and tins of meat. She gives Uncle Boll just one instruction. She even writes it down on a note on the fridge door – “Don’t Eat Pete!” Pete looks very tasty but Uncle Boll manages to restrain himself. Poor Pete, however, is becoming increasingly frustrated. He is hungry and Uncle Boll absolutely refuses to share. Finally, with this his stomach rumbling loudly, Pete decides it is time to act.
The book is written in rhyme. This works wonderfully on some pages but, on other pages, it makes the text feel a little forced. I personally feel this is a shame as the story is strong enough without the the rhyme. (I am, however, considerably older than the target audience and many children will love the rhyme, especially as this often makes it easier for them to learn the text.)
The story itself is sufficiently simple for even the youngest reader to follow with plenty of repetition. I felt increasingly sorry for pug, Pete, whose little belly rumbles as he’s forced to watch the huge troll eat more than would be possible for any human. Perhaps that’s why I loved the twist at the end so very much. (Sorry, I can’t say too much without spoilers but let’s just say that Pete gets his revenge in a very clever way).
The cartoon-like pictures are bright and appealing. Uncle Boll reminds me of a blue version of Shrek but it’s the picture of Pete, that really stand out. I’m not much of a dog lover yet the illustrations of Pete are utterly adorable. We meet him looking utterly non-plussed by the events and then see him transition from happiness as he is fussed and petted to excited by the piles of food that Uncle Boll prepares to devour. By far my favourite, however, is Pete’s look of absolute disgust when Boll has eaten all the food and his own bowl remains empty.
If you enjoyed this and are looking for another picture book with a clever twist at the end, why not try Bonkers About Beetroot by Cath Jones and Chris Jevons or I, Pod by Rebecca Lisle and Richard Watson.
Publication date: June 2019
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing