Christina (Reading Thru The Night)'s Reviews > The Troll Bridge

The Troll Bridge by Jane Yolen
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"You must open your mind to the world of the impossible," the fox said, "and then it becomes the world of the possible." (37)

This is a unique blend of retellings: the Twelve Dancing Princess and the Three Billy Goats Gruff.


First, there's Moira. Moira is a gifted classical violinist and one of the twelve dairy princesses. It took me a few seconds to figure out what the dairy princesses were exactly, and what I've determined is, they're like winners of some sort of beauty contest. Anywho, tradition tells us that after the twelve gals have been chosen, their head is carved into butter, forming a...butterhead, if you will, that gets offered up on this bridge to this backcountry town. But the new mayor decides that it's foolishness, and although the dairy queens will be molded in butter (they are DAIRY QUEENS, after all) they butterheads will remain refrigerated.


(Please note, the bridge's name is Trollhom. Shouldn't the mayor been a wee bit worried?)
Should have followed tradition, Mr. Mayor. Cuz, during the photo shoot on the bridge to the backcountry town, a big, nasty, and mean troll swooshes up all of the loverly maidens so that they might wed his beastly sons.
Now, in all good fairy tales, we must have a rescue plan, yes? Enter our three handsome "princes" or, in this case the Griffons boys. The Griffons boys are the pop supreme boy band of the nation (I couldn't help myself, I kept imagining the Hanson brothers MmmmBOPing their way into the story). After much pleading and stomping of the foot, the boys are granted a reprieve from daily rockstar life and go on a road trip. Guess where they end up? Ayup. On Trollhom Bridge too. Where the big bad and ugly troll swoops the three bros up. Evidently rockstar heros are great simmered in a pot and Mr.Badass Troll is looking forward to chow down.

I don't really remember reading the Twelve Dancing Princess, but I LOVED the Three Billy Goats Gruff as a child. Yolen and Stemple did a superb job recreating this fairy tale. There was a contemporary feel, a rockstar attitude, and a magical zest that kept me captivated.

Oh, and because it was a rock 'n' roll fairy tale, there were plenty of songs to hum along to:


Hung Up For Dinner


Long pig, sweet meat,
Strong swig, fleet treat,
I don't want to be hun up
For dinner.
Short tale, long death,
Quart ale, wrong breath,
I don't want to be hung up
For dinner.
Give me a choice of meat or soy,
Give me a choice of girl or boy,
Give me a choice or give me a chance
A great big meal or a real romance.
Slow boil, quick take,
Low oil, thick steak
I don't want to be hung up for,
For dinner.
Hot ice, cold drink,
Caught twice, old stink,
I don't want to be hung up,
Over dinner.
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