Friday, September 18, 2020

Winterfrost by Michelle Houts

My name is Klakke, and as a nisse, I've enjoyed my assignment to look after my humans and their farm. All nisses ask in return is a bowl of rice pudding at the time of the Christmas holiday. I'm not sure why the family forgot this year; maybe it had something to do with the mother and father leaving so suddenly. Forgetting the rice pudding upset me, so I decided to do a few pranks in the barn for revenge. Nothing bad, just enough to make me feel better. However, I then did something very unexpected and took the human baby. I wasn't really thinking and didn't have a plan, so maybe it was because of the Winterfrost. Now, the problem has gotten even bigger, and Gammel thinks it's because "He" has returned.

Authors don't often write Danish tales, so this setting presents a new take on an old storyline. A human child is taken by tiny forest creatures, and the sibling must find some way to get it back. In this book, the antagonist who created the conflict becomes an ally to the human protagonist, Bettina, to resolve it. That's an uncommon twist. It's a nice change to some of the books I read where the characters and problems are more intense and evil. The nisse are generally kind and generous, and the conflicts in the plot are the result of misunderstandings and stubbornness. Bettina learns to appreciate the balance in nature, as she finds herself at the center of a nisse family dispute. She possesses her grandfather's compassion for others and his willingness to forgive. These attributes are the keys to resolving all of the problems. Overall, this is a feel-good book with a stress-free story. I recommend you give it a shot. 

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