Children's Troll Books

The Children's Troll Books

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These delightful picture books feature very human characters that have adventures and experiences children can identify with.  They feature a friendly Scandinavian troll Olaf, who lives in the troll capital of the southern hemisphere, Norsewood.  The books have featured twice on television and are popular around New Zealand and overseas.


 The Lonely Troll

This books first print sold out in weeks and introduces Olaf as a lonely but friendly troll.  Trolls are the children of nature unkempt and weather beaten.  Every troll has a tail that looks like that of an animal.  Olaf meets a friend in a little girl called Tui.  An Auckland teacher uses this book to start the school year to create a class climate where everyone has a sense of belonging.  The theme of the story:  it doesn’t matter what you look like, you can still be a friend.

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 The Troll's New Jersey


One of the central characters Tui, is helping Olaf .  This effort also involves the assistance of the internationally recognised and local knitwear factory Norsewear.  This story illustrates significant and actual locations around the Norsewood village. The cover of the book features the two main characters and also the image of a student who impressed the author and illustrator with her questions during a classroom visit.  The theme of the story is: a trouble shared is a trouble halved.

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 The Troll and the Taniwha

This story is about a school holiday pastime common to many New Zealand children – spending time in a local creek.  A taniwha persuades Olaf that learning to swim is important.  Local kaumatua from the community were involved to ensure the taniwha form and behaviour were appropriate.  The book is an effort to celebrate aspects of both Scandinavian and Maori culture.  The theme of this story is;  don’t assume because a person is disabled they can’t do something.  Everyone should learn to swim.

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Troll and Taniwha 


 The Troll and the Huia


 Children's book about the Huia bird This story highlights the importance of preserving and conserving our native wildlife and the importance of calling in the professionals to help if necessary.  The main characters find a strange bird in a hidden valley in the Ruahine Ranges.  The Huia bird once common in the Norsewood and Dannevirke area is thought to be extinct, but this story has a more optimistic outlook.

A portion of the proceeds of this book goes to Pukaha Mount Bruce forst restoration project (see links page).



 Reviews of the Books

These three illustrated books link aspects of Scandinavian , New Zealand and Maori Culture by bringing together the idea of a troll living in the New Zealand town of Norsewood, which was settled by Scandinavian people in 1872 and the Taniwha which has its origins in Maori Legends.

Each story is complete in itself , but all three of them reflect the development of the maori character , Olaf the troll, from one who is lonely and insecure to one who is able to make friends and take pride in his own achievements."

 The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia Vol.44 No1. Feb. 2000


" this is more that just a moving little story. It embodies some truths which are very important to all of us --some of which are especially dear to those of us with disabilities. But I am not going to spoil it for you by telling you what these are. To find out, you will need to buy this book for your children , grandchildren, nieces and nephews, your friend's children --or the kids down the street--and read it for yourselves."

(The Lonely Troll) Disinformation (Palmerston North) July 1997.

 The Author

Lyn McConchie is from Norsewood, who writes in a range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, humour, and mystery. Lyn became a professional writer in 1991. She has had a vast number of short stories published in at least six countries. Several books are being translated and republished in other languages. One of her books was in the top 10 fantasy books written for teenages in 1995. She has won numerous awards including NZ’s Sir Julius Vogel Best SF/F novel 2002. Australian SF Foundation’s Best Short Fiction and amongst others the (International) Cat Writers Award - winning five times.

The Illustrator

Judith belongs to the Dannevirke Art Society and exhibits locally. She enjoys doing caricatures, portraits, vehicles, and animals and uses a variety of mediums including acrylic, pen work and watercolour. Born and bred locally Judith is married with one daughter and cat


Curriculum Suggestions for Teachers

 Social Studies Planner

TOPIC: Early days in Dannevirke









  • Social Organisation
  • Culture & Heritage
  • Place & Environment
  • Time, Continuity & Change
  • Resources & Economic Activities


  • NZ Past
  • NZ Present
  • Europe
  • The Pacific
  • Asia
  • Global Settings
  • Themes


  • Inquiry
  • Values Exploration
  • Social Decision Making


  • Bicultural
  • Multicultural
  • Gender
  • Current Issues
  • Future



TCC:*ways in which time and change affect people.
C& H: * features of the culture and heritage of their own and other groups.
* Customs and traditions associated with participation in cultural activities.


Knowledge: What is the same about these two pictures (haka and Scandinavia dance)

Process: Ask a who, when, where, what or why question about any two of these five pictures


TCC: * to develop a feeling for some aspects of early Dannevirke
* to develop some understanding of the links between Dannevirke and Scandinavia.
C& H: * to observe a Scandinavian dance at Norsewood School and develop understanding that many cultures have particular dances.



  1. Attempted an explanation
  2. A response which described the pictures.
  3. Noted that each dance is special / part of the culture of a particular country.
  4. As 3 with further comment detail.


  1. Attempted a response without using question words
  2. A simple question with answer clear in the picture
  3. A question with reflects learning experiences and shows understanding concepts
  4. As 3 with additional comment detail.


Inquiry To collect and record information using digital camera, and making visits.

Values explain reasons why people hold particular values positions i.e.: appreciation of culture and heritage..



Gallery of History, Norsewood Museum. Norsewood School. early NZ picture resource (Leyland). Teacher made digital photo and scanned laminated picture resources.
Three Troll stories - Lyn McConchie. Hans Andersen stories.



(*Assessment Tasks)

  1. Read "The Lonely Troll". Discuss trolls. Map / globe - locate Norway, Sweden, Denmark, NZ, Norsewood - wall display. Discuss Hovding and Ballarat ships and trace their voyage on map. Danevirk - meaning. 1872 first arrivals.
  2. Early settlers - list of names. Photo of plaque in Copenhagen Square. maps of present Dannevirke and early Dannevirke - identify any children presently living in early area.




Here are some ideas on how to link the troll books with curriculum products

Artistic Troll Products



  • Troll Architecture
  • Book covers/designs
  • Troll Car design
  • Troll Cartoons
  • Troll Collage
  • Troll Comic strips
  • Troll Computer graphics
  • Troll Decoration
  • Troll Diorama
  • Troll Drawing
  • Troll Exhibits
  • Fashion design
  • Troll Furniture design
  • Troll Jewellery
  • Troll Landscaping
  • Troll Maps
  • Troll Mobiles
  • Troll Movies
  • Troll Murals
  • Troll Painting
  • Troll Photography
  • Troll Postcards
  • Troll Posters
  • Troll Pottery
  • Troll Puzzles
  • Troll Sculpture
  • Troll Set design
  • Troll Videos
  • Troll Web pages
  • Wood carving

Performance Products



  • Troll Composition
  • Concerts
  • Troll Dance
  • Troll Demonstrations
  • Troll Dramatic monologues
  • Experiments
  • Troll Dedication ceremonies
  • Demonstrations
  • Troll Guided tours
  • Troll Infomercials
  • Troll Interviews
  • Troll Lecture
  • Troll Newscasts
  • Troll Oral histories
  • Troll Poetry readings
  • Troll Radio plays
  • Troll sales promotions
  • Troll Sign language
  • Troll Songs
  • Speeches
  • Troll Storytelling

Visual Troll Products



  • Troll
  • Advertisements
  • Blueprints
  • Book jackets
  • Troll Calendars
  • Troll fashion design
  • Graphic design
  • Ice sculptures
  • Troll layouts
  • Troll lists
  • Troll maps
  • Troll Caricatures
  • Troll Cartoons
  • Collages
  • Computer printouts
  • Mobiles
  • Troll models
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Musical scores
  • Troll paintings
  • Photography
  • Demonstrations
  • Troll Diagrams
  • Diagrams/charts
  • Digital photo shows
  • Troll pottery
  • Troll sculptures
  • Set design
  • Troll sketches
  • Troll videos

Troll Models & Construction



  • 3-D figures
  • Books
  • Troll bridges
  • Buildings
  • Bulletin boards
  • catalogue
  • Troll ceremonies
  • Collections
  • Computer programs
  • Dioramas
  • Documentaries
  • Drama sets
  • Exhibitions
  • Toll furniture
  • Games
  • Troll gardens
  • Troll gifts
  • Greenhouses
  • Troll habitat
  • instruments
  • Interviews
  • Inventions
  • Troll masks
  • Troll mazes
  • Paper engineering
  • Troll pottery
  • Scale models
  • Sculpture
  • Shelters
  • Troll toys
  • Working models

Leadership Products



  • Troll protests
  • Role playing
  • Troll debates
  • Directing a plan
  • School pa-trolls
  • Troll speeches
  • Mock trails
  • Save the Troll campaign
  • Club or class webmaster
  • Consensus building
  • Editing a Troll newspaper
  • Editorials
  • Troll elections
  • Leading Troll rallies
  • Musical performances
  • Open forums/fund raising
  • Organising a Troll business
  • Organising a group
  • Troll plans
  • Bulletin board/chat room/discussion group on internet

Written Troll Ideas



  • Articles (newspaper, journal etc)
  • Autobiographies
  • Troll books
  • Comic strips
  • Troll Crossword puzzles
  • Troll Definitions
  • Troll Diaries/journals
  • Discussion group questions
  • Troll Epics
  • Family trees
  • Flow charts
  • Folktales
  • Graphic organisers
  • Troll interview questions
  • Troll jokes/riddles
  • Troll laws
  • Troll legends
  • Letters/postcards
  • Troll Limericks
  • Troll Maps
  • Parables
  • Plays/skits
  • Troll Poetry
  • Radio programs
  • Rhymes
  • Troll Songs/lyrics

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If you have any feedback or suggestions regarding these books please contact Mike or Lee-Anne Stone at info@stonepress