As everyone knows, trolls live under bridges and love to eat goats, and pirates live at sea sailing about looking for treasure; under normal circumstances their paths would never cross. But in this book it’s altogether different.
Two tales evolve in parallel, a troll’s and the pirates’, their worlds coming ever closer, as the troll, forced to exist on a diet of fish, seeks a tasty trip-trapping goat, and the pirates search for the treasure that will allow them to employ a cook to make the delicious fish dishes for which they yearn. Eventually troll and pirates are face to face. Seemingly that’s the end of the troll’s story but as he walks the plank, his frying pan and cookbook are discovered and that makes all the difference.
The parallel nature of the stories is accentuated by the vertical subdivisions of the double spreads into two, three or four frames. Roberts’ saucer-eyed, horned troll in hairy green jumpsuit and two-tone pointy brogues and the bald, bearded, bee-hived and bowler-hatted quartet of pirates with equally quirky sartorial taste are hilarious to behold. His richly detailed illustrations are the perfect contrast to Donaldson’s deadpan telling.