The Cat on the Dovrefell

Cat on the Dovrefell by George Desant
illustrated by Tomie de Paola

In recent years this has slowly crept into the coveted position of my favorite Christmas book.  This is in part due to the cadence of translation from the Norse and in part due to Tomie De Paola’s gloriously hideous trolls and puffy white polar bear who is adorable even with fangs bared.  Set on Christmas Eve, a man and his polar bear are en route to the King of Denmark and need a place to spend the night.  Under duress, Halvor offers the man his cottage with a stern warning that the trolls will descend upon him.  The man (clearly not feint of heart if he’s traveling with a polar bear) accepts.  The highlight of the book of course is the trolls feasting with abandon until they find the man’s “cat” (erm, polar bear) and poke it in the nose with a sausage.

I could not love it more.  Sadly, it is out of print and hard to find (my own copy is held together by nearly a full roll of book tape).  But if you can locate one, it might be an interesting change from the typical Santa, reindeer, elves, trains to the North Pole, evil green creature robbing Whos that you’re used to.

Sex, Nudity, Dating – Well.  None.  But as an adult you may get a kick out of the troll screaming “Pussy, will you have some sausage?” at the polar bear.  Oh, troll.
Profanity – None.
Death, Violence and Gore – The polar bear shows its teeth and runs at the trolls. Halvor uses an axe to chop wood.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – None.
Frightening or Intense Things – The trolls might look too scary for the littlest readers, but many will find them funny.


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