What is trendier than being yourself? With recent attention to ending bullying and getting kids to feel good about being themselves, being proud of who you are is definitely trendy! Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson (the author of the popular Charlie and Lola series) follows a little girl and a little troll that switch places.
Timothy Limpet is a troll that is cleaner and quieter than all the other trolls, so he is made fun of because he does not fit in with everyone else. Tabitha Lumpit is a human girl that is loud and messy, but her parents want her to be nice and polite like them and like the other children. Timothy and Tabitha run into one another and realize that neither of them fit in with the rest of their kind, so they decide to trade lives.
After they both fit in perfectly in their new lives, they realize that being the same as everyone else is boring, and that their families missed them. Timothy and Tabitha switch back, realizing that their homes are where they really belong. Hodgkinson’s writing style is definitely embellished by the different fonts that the characters speak in and the bolding and size changes of the text. It makes the book more active and engaging and practically begs to be read out loud!
This book definitely shows that being you, even if you don’t fit exactly in with your peers, is the best way to be! Children may wish they could trade places with other people, but this book shows that your life is the best life for you. It also shows that your friends and parents may want you to be a different way, but if you change, you won’t be the one that they know and love already. I think this book’s content is important for children to experience so they can be confident in themselves and realize that it is okay to be different. It also shows that your family and friends really do love you, even if you guys do not agree on everything!
The illustrations and style of this book are Hodgkinson’s typical style. Her cartoony drawings are cute and the different fonts, drawings, and collages make the book fun to look at and fun to read. The different fonts can help you read in different characters’ voices. The font of the text looks childish and silly, like a child wrote the book. I would recommend this to children in elementary school because it can be enjoyed by younger as well as older kids. This book would be a great read aloud with children and would definitely bring humor into reading time, as well as the message that it is great to be yourself!