Odd and the Frost Giants

by Neil Gaiman and Brett Helquist

The Norwegian villagers don’t know what to make of Odd, the unlucky boy who... read more

The Norwegian villagers don’t know what to make of Odd, the unlucky boy who keeps on smiling despite his father’s death and the accident that left him with a crippled leg. When a delayed spring causes everyone’s tempers to flare, Odd heads out to his father’s woodcutting hut, rather than bear the brunt of the community’s bad humor. Following an unusual fox the next day, Odd is led to a bear whose paw is stuck in the hollow of a pine tree. Watched by an eagle flying overhead, Odd frees the bear. The three creatures then reveal that they are not animals but Norse deities. The bear is Thor, Lord of the Thunders; the eagle is Lord Odin, greatest of the gods; and the fox is Loki, trickster and blood brother to the gods. Duped by a Frost Giant, they’ve been cast into animal form and exiled. It’s up to young Odd to outwit the Frost Giant and restore the three to their true bodies and home. Odd approaches the Frost Giant with equanimity, convincing the creature to return to his own home, and in turn is granted a meaningful reward by the Goddess Freya, who proves to be both funny and wise. Neil Gaiman weaves characters from Norse mythology into a humorous, quietly satisfying tale. (Ages 8–11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010

show less