Rudy is not a very nice rat according to Rosa Raccoon and the other children. He does bad things and says mean stuff and no one wants to play with him. So Hamilton decides to have a talk with Rudy. However, when Rudy Rat sees Hamilton Troll, he gets so afraid he runs off, which clues in Hamilton that Rudy may need a friend more than they thought.
Hamilton then encourages the children to put their “PAWS” together for friendship. Pause what you are doing, Approach, Welcome Rudy to join the game and Smile. Rudy then feels accepted and is able to hang out with the children and have fun, creating friends rather than enemies.
Hamilton Troll is the story of a likeable little Troll named Hamilton, who is just about the size of a mouse. He is a cheerful person and has many friends in the forest. The tiny green troll has a big problem every time it rains. His shelter is merely a hole in a tree stump which floods and threatens to drown him! So poor Hamilton cowers in fear each time the rain approaches. His fall back plan is to hide under a plant with elephant like ears which he calls the Flop Away Home. One day as the sun emerges following a thunderstorm, Hamilton hears singing. He finds a beautiful Pink Sprite Fairy who has been grounded because her wings are soaked. She must wait until they dry to take flight again. Pink Sprite befriends Hamilton and gives him some good advice. Why doesn’t he move one of those plants over his tree stump home? Then when the rains come, he will be protected. They go off to talk and play, but all too soon, Pink Sprite’s wings are dry. Hamilton is afraid; who will protect him when she leaves him? Pink Sprite reassures him that he will be safe now. Whenever he needs her, he has only to dream of her and the love and friendship that they have for one another. Hamilton has learned not to fear the unknown and to care for others who might need him.
The characters are charmingly drawn in soft muted colors with wonderful expression. The use of such opposite characters as a troll and fairy make it appealing to a wide audience. This story is narrated in verse, which is often catchy and clever. It works most of the time, but there a few long passages in which it breaks down so that children may not be able to fully comprehend its meaning. The author does explain some of the more difficult vocabulary words used like transplant and mystique; the definitions are clearly displayed on the same page avoiding the need to flip to a glossary.
I think children age seven and up will really appreciate the characters and story line of this pleasing tale.