Bera the One-Headed Troll - Eric Orchard

Bera doesn't ask for much in life. She's a solitary, humble troll, tending her island pumpkin patch in cheerful isolation. She isn't looking for any trouble.

But when trouble comes to find her, it comes in spades. A human baby has arrived in the realm of the trolls, and nobody knows where it came from, but Bera seems to be the only person who doesn't want it dead. There's nothing to it but to return the adorable little thing to its parents.

Like it or not, Bera's gone and found herself a quest.

I had no expectations going into this quirky graphic novel. I haven't read anything of Orchard's before, but I trust First Second books, so when Bera showed up in the mail, I picked it up ASAP.

The entire graphic novel is illustrated with muted colours and warm tones and has an overall light but slightly creepy quality. I believe I read one review that called it melancholic, and I can see that for sure! But at its heart is a very cute story of a troll going on a reluctant quest to rescue a human child from harm. Though she keeps trying to find a hero to rescue the baby, they keep letting her down, making her the true hero of the narrative.

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to younger readers as well as parents who want something fun to read with their kids. There are moments that might frighten some young readers, but for the most part Orchards illustrations and text are very much suitable for a child reader. All-in-all a great quest story, featuring an adorable but strong protagonist succeeding against all odds.



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