by Rob Harrell
First sentence: “Zarf.”
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Review copy downloaded from Edelweiss.
Release date: September 2, 2014
Content: It’s pretty basic, and there are a lot of pictures. I’ll probably shelve it in the Middle Grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore, though it’d work for an advanced 1st or second grader. There’s nothing objectionable.
Zarf is a troll. That means, at this middle school of his, that he is the bottom of the bottom on the social ladder. Even his friends Kevin (of Littlepig fame) and Chester (the Jester) are higher up the social ladder than he is. But then, what do you expect when your the kid and grandkid of the trolls who bugged the billy goats?
Zarf’s pretty okay with his social nothingness. That is, until King Cheznott goes missing, presumably dead, killed (or kidnapped) by huge Snuffweasels. And his bully son (at least bully to Zarf), Roquefort, takes over. And throws Zarf in the dungeon. Where he (somewhat inadvertently) finds himself on a rescue mission. And, of course, hilarity ensues.
Actually the plot is really secondary in this book. It’s mostly just about silliness. Serious silliness. Like:
“How can I explain that voice? It was so deep, it sounded like a cross between Darth Vader’s voice and someone farting through a tuba.”
or odd creatures, like attack pears!
Or Chester’s really jokes (“How many wobble gnomes does it take to massage a swampfrog?” We never do find out the punchline to that one.)
Or the clever asides:
As you can tell, this slim book is liberally scattered with pictures. Making it perfect for the reluctant reader. And it’s hilarious, which makes the appeal that much greater. At any rate, I laughed quite a bit and read it all in one sitting. Perfect, silly, stupid fun.