The Three Vikings

illus. by Adam Auerbach. 40p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781627796019.
PreS-Gr 2—Three Vikings sit around a campfire with the littlest one playing music and "singing about Valhalla, the magical place where the strongest and bravest Vikings go." The male Viking has strength, and the female Viking has bravery. The little one has neither, but he does have confidence and musical ability. As they journey to Valhalla and encounter a troll, the little Viking tries a song, but the strongest Viking is able to vanquish the troll. When they encounter a kraken in the sea, the little Viking's lullaby fails and the brave Viking must dive deep to put the creature to sleep. The littlest Viking is certain he can help defeat a dragon by playing a musical tune, but the dragon likes the music so much, she wants to keep the instrument (a lyre) for herself. Luckily, the brave and strong Vikings come to the rescue and give up their shields so the dragon can use them as cymbals. As they finally arrive at Valhalla, and enter the grand hall, they receive a warm reception. Precise and colorful pen and ink illustrations drawn with a black outline complement the ordered structure of this tale that celebrates individuality and music.
VERDICT A pleasing tale of individuals who use their unique strengths—might, bravery, and musical talent—in just the right way.

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