Ten-year-old Muncle Trogg has a huge problem. Actually, his problem is that he’s not huge at all. On Mount Grumble, where everyone is gigantic, Muncle is people-sized. Although the giants on Mount Grumble are enormous, they live in fear of humans. That’s because the humans, called Smallings, have magic killing sticks.
Muncle is people-size, but by giant standards, he’s not bad looking. He has beautiful gray skin that is dotted with hairy warts, bushy eyebrows and a fleshy nose. His bulging eyes and wonky yellow teeth make him attractive in a Mount-Grumble-sort-of way. But in his world of giants, Muncle falls short --- very short.
"Part fairy tale, part science fiction, Foxley’s story also contains healthy doses of humor and heart, along with the gentle lesson to be kind to those who are different."
Muncle lives with his ma and pa and his younger siblings. He has an adorable baby sister named Flubb, who is “as pretty as a toad.” His seven-year-old brother, Gritt, is the family star. Gritt has an enormous appetite and is amazingly strong. He shines at school in metalwork and knows all about spears and battle-axes. When Gritt grows up, he would like to be Chief Weapon-Maker of the King’s Armory.
Muncle just wants to be accepted for who he is, regardless of his size. He has always struggled to fit in, especially at school, where even the teachers make fun of him. What’s even worse is that Titan Bulge and his mean-spirited gang of Thunder Thugs are ruthless bullies who tease and pick on Muncle every chance they get. To keep from being pushed around and made fun of, Muncle rarely attends school. But the time for skipping classes is running out for Muncle. He has to pass the Gigantia final exam on Dragon Science and Smalling Studies so he can find a job. And the King’s Birthday celebration is just days away.
While Muncle and his class are on a field trip at the Museum of the Smalling World, he meets Mount Grumble’s Wise Man, Sir Biblos. When the ancient wise man devises a plan to use Muncle to surprise King Thortless on his birthday, Muncle gets thrusted into the spotlight, where he shows how even the smallest giant can walk tall.
MUNCLE TROGG by award-winning British author Janet Foxley is a creative novel filled with giants, dragons, dungeons, an unruly princess, and scary humans whose magic killing sticks strike fear into the hearts of giants. Part fairy tale, part science fiction, Foxley’s story also contains healthy doses of humor and heart, along with the gentle lesson to be kind to those who are different. The charming illustrations by O’Kif enhance the reading pleasure and help bring Foxley’s fascinating world and unique characters to life.
Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on March 28, 2012