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Helga's Dowry: A Troll Love Story
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Helga's Dowry: A Troll Love Story

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  239 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Helga, a troll, must somehow acquire a dowry with which to marry or, by the god Odin’s command, be doomed to wander the earth forever. “Richly colored pictures capture the droll humor of [Helga’s] clever, determined fight to garner impressive riches.”--Booklist
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1977 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published February 28th 1977)
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Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tomie dePaola fans!
I have always been a huge fan of Tomie dePaola’s works ever since I was a child, with my favorites being of his “Strega Nona” stories (favorites from this series are “Strega Nona” and “Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons”). Now I have stumbled upon a new book I have read from Tomie dePaola called “Helga’s Dowry: A Troll Love Story” and I was absolutely blown away by this book! “Helga’s Dowry” is about a young troll named Helga who wanted to marry a handsome troll named Lars, but because she was orphaned ...more
Helga is an orphaned troll who had found love. The problem is the law requires a dowry to accompany a marriage. Helga suggests that her fiancé troll visit a wise and rich troll for advice. This other troll tells the fiancé to marry his ugly daughter who comes with a pile of riches. The selfish troll decides to marry the ugly troll instead. Helga tries to fix the situation by earning a dowry of her own but encounters a barrier to her plan. Helga learns that love and money can be mean two differen ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an entertaining and empowering story about a clever female troll who does not wait for a man to save her or take care of her. When she discovers that her sweetheart is swayed more by money than her charms, she decides to ensure that she takes care of her own needs. The illustrations are fairly typical for Tomie dePaola's books, and I loved that Helga could pass for being a human by simply tucking her tail under her dress. While it's not specifically about Valentine's Day, it's a great ti ...more
Helga has no dowry to marry the troll of her dreams. This pushes her out as an eligible bachelorette and ushers in a troll lady who is awful inside & out, but capable of paying a handsome dowry. Helga decides that she'll earn her own dowry by preying upon the laziness and greed of humans, which works wonderfully. The suitor eventually eyes the dowry Helga's accumulated and decides maybe he does love her after all, but Helga is wise to the greed evident in her own kind. The king of trolls, ho ...more
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Helga is a beautiful troll with no dowry, so she determines that she will make her own fortune by taking advantage of the greed of humans. When she earns a large dowry, her betrothed has already decided to move on to another troll with an enormous dowry. Helga is not happy, but when he comes crawling back after seeing her fortune, she gives him the boot. A surprise admirer, who has no need for money and loves her for who she is, offers his hand and she accepts. The end!
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Tomie dePaola's folktale books. Always a moral with the story and wonderful illustrations.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this sweet story!
Mary Catelli
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A light-hearted tale of how Helga works out her problems from troll-law.
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a funny book with a nice lesson. Helga the troll has no dowry, and so her love, Lars, is wedding someone else (a rich someone else). Helga decides to work to earn a dowry. She does chores for lazy people whose laziness and greed ends up costing them everything. When Helga comes back rich, Lars asks for her hand. She refuses of course; Lars is a shallow bum. She marries the king, who has been watching her and admiring her initiative this whole time.
This is a very very cute book. The pictu
Week 4: Children's Literature

Handsome Lars was in love with Helga the Troll but promises of riches caused Lars to change his mind and marry Plain Inge. Saddened by the thought of losing Lars, Helga asked him to wait for her as she set out to earn her own dowry. Tricking people with Troll magic, Helga slowly gained riches and land; everything needed to persuade Lars. One day away from completed what she set out to do, Helga learns that Lars never planned to wait for her. Helga would rather be alo
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Tomie dePaola (pronounced Tommy da-POW-la) is best known for his books for children.
He's been published for 40 years and has written and/or illustrated over 200 books, including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers.
Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure.
More about Tomie dePaola...