Trollhunter

Trollhunter is a Norwegian indie film from 2010 directed by Andre Øverdal. This film has already been given a Cult status in Norway. Mind you, this is not a movie for children, even though I would have loved it as a child, but its target audience is teens and adults.
It is filmed in a mock documentary style, a little like Blair Witch Project, and is a presentation of footage filmed by a group of young journalists. The actors in the film are all unknown, except for the trollhunter himself, and it adds to the feeling of it being a documentary. The film is not really scary at all, it’s more funny, especially if you have some pre-knowledge about Norwegian culture and Norwegian trolls. And the trolls themselves are just awesome!

The movie is about a team of students studying to become journalists who set out to make a documentary about this crazy man who claims that he is a trollhunter. The trollhunter is fed up by the government who conceals all traces of trolls, and he wants the public to know what is really going on in the Norwegian forests. Following is a hilarious and brilliant chase, where we get to know a lot about trolls and how they can still be alive!

What I love the most about this film is how thoroughly all the facts are explained, like why the trolls burst in sunlight, what they eat and how they live, all explained by a veterinarian troll expert! I love the descriptions of the different types of trolls, and I love how amazingly brilliant the trolls actually look on screen.

This movie might not be everyone’s cup of tea, as it is VERY Norwegian, but if you like to learn more about other cultures, folklore and the supernatural, then this movie is definitely for you, and I highly recommend it! I would say the movie can be seen by kids from 13 and up, but it depends on the child. I would not have found this movie disturbingly scary as a child, but all children are different. I’d say, if the child enjoys Jurassic Park, he or she can definitely watch this movie. 😊

Of course, five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For younger kids, or for all kids of all ages, I would recommend the Dreamworks/ Netflix Series “Trollhunters”. It is an animated series that is, I can’t help but think, slightly inspired by the Norwegian Trollhunter. The storyline is brilliant and the animation awesome!

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Tři bratři ( Three Brothers)

Tři bratři is a Czech musical Fairy Tale film from 2014 directed by the wonderful Jan Svěrák. This film is a spinoff of some of our most beloved fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty, also known as Briar Rose, Little Red Riding Hood, and a Czech version of Cinderella. I normally do not like modern musical fantasy films that much, but I adored this film! It might have a little bit to do with the fact that I love the beautiful sing-song Czech language. I especially appreciated the sweet voice of Little Red Riding Hood. And many of the musical scenes had me squealing with delight! 😊😊

This film is not a commercial film, so there are no computerized special effects, well a very very few but nothing to speak of, something that I very much appreciate. I loved all the little well-thought out details, like the witch’s cottage on the murky pond, the big bad wolf, the beautifully folksy decorated inside of Cinderella’s house, and granny’s adorable forest cottage. Everything with its own Czech flair. I also loved the costumes and the beautiful Czech people with their make-up free angelic looks and natural hair. It is a breath of fresh air from the, in my opinion, over-glamorized Hollywood fantasy films with all their high-tech special effects. I also loved how the fairy tales were not made into politically correct modern stories. They were rather made humorous, but not in a mocking way, rather in a sweet deliciously can’t-stop-grinning-ouch-my-cheeks-hurt kind of way.😄

Tři bratři is definitely different, and might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially those who love big Hollywood productions like the new versions of the Disney classics, but if you, like me, love seeing movies from different countries, to see a glimpse of another way of telling stories, and very unique and beautiful cinematography, then you will definitely appreciate this little gem!

Of course, five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Keeper of the Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities is a children’s fantasy book written by Shannon Messenger. The book is aimed at children from 10 years and up, but the children in the book are around 12-14 years old. Keeper of the Lost Cities is the first book in a fantasy series about Sophie Foster.

Sophie Foster is a 12 year old girl who has been a telepath since she was five. She also has a photographic memory, something which has made her excel in school. But these special abilities have always made Sophie feel alone and out of place. She doesn’t really have any friends and she is so different from her sister and parents that she sometimes wonders if she was adopted. So one day, when a boy, a little older than herself, shows up claiming he is an elf, and that so is she, Sophie is surprised, but perhaps not as shocked as she should be. The elvin boy takes her with him home to see his elvin family in a magic country where having special abilities is a very common thing. Sophie feels at home at right away, but when the elves ask her to leave her human family forever and come live with them instead, Sophie is torn. Can she really leave the only family she has ever known? But if she doesn’t, how will she ever go back to being a normal human girl again?

I loved this book to pieces! The characters are wonderful and very endearing, the language flows like a dream, and the writer takes time to describe details and scenarios that spark our imagination and make the story very atmospheric. The plot reminded me again of J.K Rowling; the elvin kids go to a magical academy and much of the story takes place there. Having said that, this was not a new storyline when J.K Rowling wrote it either, so I am definitely not saying this book copies from the Harry Potter books. Rather I would say that this book is perfect for lovers of the Harry Potter series (like me). Sophie’s world is filled with magic, but also with difficult decisions, dilemmas and trials. What is different in this story is that it is more realistic in a way, I mean, the writer talks about some of the issues that we face today, of course in a symbolic way, and how those who often feel like misfits, are the ones who will have to step up and be the heroes.

I will heartily recommend this book to all lovers of the fantasy genre, children and adults alike, but perhaps especially to those who feel different, like many of the children we call “Star children” do.

Of course five beautiful golden stars to this magical book! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Room on the Broom

Room on the Broom is a picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The book’s target group is children from 3-7 years old.

This little enchanted story, told in rhyme, is about a kind witch who goes out on a flight on her broom. Along the way she meets different animals who all wants to tag along. The kind witch grants them their wish, and this turns out to be a very lucky decision, for soon she meets a dragon who wants to eat her!

I absolutely fell in love with this adorable book! It is one of those picture books that will become a magic totem pole for a a child’s entire childhood. You know, one of those treasures that will transport you right back to that wonderful world, when you have long since left it behind.

I can just imagine a little child begging his or her guardian to read this book over and over again, and I think this is one of those books you wouldn’t even mind re-reading a hundred times over. When I first read it I was just dying to make all those adorable voices ( well, I kind of did after some time, I just couldn’t resist….!😳😳) and I laughed out loud at some of the funny parts!😂😂

I absolutely highly recommend this enchanting book! If you are one of those who have little ones in your life (or just someone like me who collects children’s books) , I would say it would make a wonderful addition to your children’s book library!

Of course, five beautiful twinkling stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time is a children’s fantasy book written by Madeleine L’Engle. It is aimed at children from 10 years and up, but I would say it rather suits children from 12 years and up. In fact, this book is quite an alternative book that I think will be be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age, who is interested in science, philosophy and spirituality.

Meg, our heroine, is the oldest child in a family of six. She doesn’t feel like she is anything special, except perhaps good in maths. She is not beautiful like her mother or smart like her little brother. Nevertheless, when Meg, her baby brother and their friend, Calvin, set out on a mission to find Meg’s long lost scientist father, it is Meg who has to step up and be the real hero. But can she really defeat the darkness known as IT all by herself? And how in the world is she going to do that when her prodigy brother and brilliant father have already failed?

This book is different, very different. It is full of symbolism, philosophical and scientific references, and quotes from different cultures and respected cultural personalities. The scientific principles explained in the book is not easy to understand, not even for me and I am an adult! The book has been labeled a science fantasy novel, but to me, it feels more like a fable. It is definitely a book with a strong message, and the whole story is built up specifically to convey this message.

In my opinion, this book is perfect for those whom we call Star children (Indigo-, Crystal -, and rainbow children). People who feel they have been born with an insight that nobody else seems to have, or perhaps a very rare and powerful talent that often urges them to be light workers; someone who dedicates their life to show mankind the way onwards.

I would absolutely recommend this book to all star children, light workers, and children and adults alike who have a special interest in science, philosophy and spirituality.
It is a short book, and most definitely worth the read!

P.S I just learnt that this book is being made into a movie, starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, that will be released next year. I will say, it is a much needed story to be told.

Storybound

Storybound is a children’s fantasy book written by Marissa Burt. It is a part of a duology about Una Fairchild and her adventures in Story. This book is aimed at children 10-13 years old, but I think even younger kids might like it. Even though the heroine of the book is twelve years old.

This is one of those novels where the heroine disappears into a book where she finds a magical land where all the characters she always thought were only fictional prove to be real. Una Fairchild falls into Story in the middle of Peter’s practical examination where he has to fight a dragon in order to save a lady in distress. When he discovers Una in the cave he thinks she might be another maiden in need of a knight so he tries to save her too. But Una is not brought up to be a lady and she is more than ready to try to save herself. Later, Peter and Una become friends and Una joins him in the school where he is training to become a storybook character. But why has Una really come to Story? Will she ever get back to her real world? And who is the mysterious lady in red lurking around talking about Write-Ins?

I loved this story, and the plot, even though it has been told many times before, is original and creative. This book reminded me a lot of Chris Colfer’s “The Land of Stories” series, which has much of the same storyline. This book however, is a richer, but also more demanding read. It took me a long time to get into the story, and much of the plot is revealed through dialogue (there is a lot of eavesdropping) and reading of passages in books. The action part comes at the end of the book, something that can require too much patience for a young child. I found that the language didn’t flow as easily as I would have liked in a children’s book, but having said that, the book is very popular, so it might just be a personal preference thing.

I would definitely recommend this book, but for children who are a little impatient and like more action-driven books I would rather suggest checking out Chris Colfer’s “The Land of Stories” series.

C.S Lewis and me

I frist encountered the magical world of C.S Lewis through the BBC Tv-series “The Chronicles of Narnia” from 1989. I must have been just 5-6 years old, or even younger, when Narnia became the name of my own magical world. I made this world so detailed and vivid that when I first read the books in their original form I was quite let down. C.S Lewis’ writing was very straightforward and to-the-point and lacked the detailed descriptions that I have also craved in books. Nevertheless, he is the father and creator of this enchanted world with all its magical inhabitants and adventures, and for that, he has my absolute admiration, gratitude and utter respect. He has inspired my imagination to take flight ever since I was just a very little girl through his books; unabridged and complete, and abridged picture book versions.

The BBC series that introduced me to the wonderful world of C.S Lewis was normally telecast during Easter in Norway, as a morning treat for kids. My family and I spent our Easter in a sailing boat at sea, and it was only my uncle who had a TV in his boat, so he made us pay an admittance fee in candy in order for us to watch the series. Something we happily did, even though our storage of candy was quite limited.

My favorite parts of the series are the scene in Mr. Tumnus’ house when he and Lucy take tea for the first time in the first book, the scene in the magician’s house when Lucy makes the magician and his subjects visible in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, and when Eustace and Jill first meet the marsh wiggle in “The Silver Chair”.

The port keys to Narnia have always fascinated me. And all my life I have been looking for enchanted wardrobes and magic oil paintings of mighty ships at sea. Even the lamppost that is the first Narnian landmark after you’ve entered the magic Wardrobe has made me take hundreds of photos of Narnia-looking lampposts in the real world. I specifically remember one Wardrobe I found in an artsy hotel just outside Venice when I went there with my best friend to celebrate my 21st Birthday. It was magnificent, and yes, I did try to look for a magic country inside it.

When the “new” (well not so new anymore) Narnia movie came out, I was soooo excited. I spent hours on the Disney website playing Narnian games and watching trailer-clips of the upcoming film. But I was a bit let down when I first watched it in the theater. It was, as most modern movies are, fast-paced, action driven and computerized. The action bits (like the battle) were blown way up, and it had even added action scenes that were not there in the books. Having said that, I loved the four young actors who played the Pevensie children, they were all brilliant, and I wish I could have cast them in the BBC series, but I would have kept the old witch, played brilliantly by Barbara Kellerman. She is way scarier than the witch in the Disney movie.

The magic of Narnia will always fascinate me. It is not only a part of my childhood, it has become the totem pole of my imagination. I will always keep looking for secret doorways in paintings and wardrobes, and turn around to marvel over old lampposts. Narnia has become a part of me, of who I am, and that is all thanks to the wonderful C.S Lewis, who said so brilliantly: “Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia.” If only in my dreams.