I consumed a lot of books and food over Thanksgiving; Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants was the beginning of my book binge. It’s a sweet fable set in Norway of a crippled boy named Odd, who helps out a few Norse gods in distress. It’s a short tale, told briskly. Odd is a good foil for the strong-willed gods, and an easy hero to cheer for.
There was a boy called Odd, and there was nothing strange or unusual about that, not in that time or place. ‘Odd meant the tip of a blade, and it was a lucky name.
He was odd, though. At least the other villagers thought so. But if there was one thing that he wasn’t, it was lucky.
While $14.99 seems a steep pricetag for this slim volume, it is beautifully bound in blue cloth, and contains lovely pencil illustrations by Brett Helquist. Overall, this runs a big lighter than much of Gaiman’s work, and would be a great readaloud for children who can manage to listen when there aren’t pictures on every page, and for young readers to read on their own. Gaiman wrote it for World Book Day in the UK, an event that seeks to inspire children to read.
And for Sandman fans, I think the cover illo is an homage to one of Shawn McManus’ from “A Game of You” of Barbie riding atop Martin Tenbones. But I can’t find an online image to back that up.