Edda: A Little Valkyrie's First Day of School
illus. by Adam Auerbach. 40p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780805097030.
K-Gr 2—In Norse mythology, Valkyries are no strangers to battlefields, where they guide and protect heroes. In this clever picture book, Edda is the littlest of her clan. Her days are filled with hunting monsters and doing what she pleases, but she longs to be around children her own age. Her father flies her from Asgard to Earth on a magical horse for her first day of school. Although Edda is brave, her mettle is tested as she has to learn to wait her turn, sit still, and make friends. At first, she finds writing hard work, but once she starts to describe her magical home, she hits her stride and her story is a big hit. The tone of the cartoon art fits the book to a tee and enhances the fun. Filled with fantastical creatures and realistic-looking children, this twist on the all-too-familiar first-day jitters and summoning courage is a delight. Children will relate to Edda, root for her success, and might be tempted to learn a bit more about Asgard.—Kris Hickey, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH
Edda, the youngest Valkyrie in Asgard, wants a friend more than she wants adventure, so her father sends her to Earth for school. The transition is challenging, but Edda successfully finds a friend and learns to appreciate both her magical home and earthly school. Auerbach's lively pen-and-ink illustrations and clever integration of Norse mythology are the high points in an otherwise predictable tale.

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