There’s a troll under every bridge, apparently. The bridges near us tend to be of the Thames-spanning variety so could comfortably house an entire family of trolls, but checking underneath them would require a boat or a bungee cord. But this is the basis of “Walter Under the Bridge”, a new children’s book written by Dion Child and published by Maggie Taylor and Grahame Penny, who own a working toll bridge in Herefordshire. With a friendly troll called Walter living under it.
Reuben was very excited to have a new book to read when he got home from school. He’s a big fan of the “Billy Goats Gruff”, so is very au fait with the bridge/troll mythology. The basic plot is that Walter, the friendly troll, is bullied out of his home by some meaner trolls and has to find a new home under a new bridge. Roo enjoyed it, his favourite bits being when the swan swooped down and rescued Walter out of the sky and the appearance of a bouncy dog towards the end. I’m a bit of a sucker for a bouncy dog too, especially one with a protruding tongue, and the one in the story is based on a real-life rescue dog called Chester. 50p from every book sold goes to Dogs Trust, who rescued Chester from unspeakable doggy-hell and I think Nathan would agree that I’m a complete pushover when it comes to badly treated puppies. I have to be physically restrained whenever the Dogs Trust ad comes on TV otherwise I’d be donating the monthly food budget to buy blankets and chewy toys for tired terriers.
So, what did I think of the book? Well, it was a little long – it took me around 20 minutes to read to Roo. But he concentrated well through it, so I think the target audience of 4-9-year-olds would appreciate it. I can’t imagine Eva sitting still that long. It was a nicely constructed story, with just enough peril, but I was a bit disappointed that the baddies never got their comeuppance. Still, it had a happy ending with a bouncy dog so that was all OK. It’s a debut work from the author and it’s definitely worth checking out. It’s accompanied by some promotional activity at the bridge itself – you can go along an meet Walter, and get a sticker to say you have – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange it. the book also comes with bonus features (or “DVD extras” as Nathan calls them) – a make-your-own flip-flap, a colouring page and some pictures of the bridge (and the real Chester). It’s on Amazon now and available on Kindle download I believe.
We enjoyed it – hope you will too. Remember that some of the money goes to the doggies. I love the doggies….
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of “Walter Under the Bridge” to review by Whitney Bridge Publishers. All views expressed remain honest and factual.