Fun, fairy tales…and why a troll has earwax

I had a wonderful visit recently to Two Moors Primary School, visiting the Year 1 children. There was the most wonderful welcome waiting for me:

school visits

We were looking at fairy tales and my book Gruff’s Guide to Fairy Tale Land (Meadowside, 2009), illustrated by the fabulously-talented Benji Davies. To my delight, the visit was focusing on one of my favourite characters: The Troll.


Illustration ©Benji Davies 2009

There was muchness of merriment as we came up with some delightful adjectives to describe this remarkable specimen. We also had a giggle trying to find a suitable name for this character. My favourite was Gloople.

Visits usually include a question and answer session with children, with typical questions such as: ‘When did you start writing?’, ‘How do you find ideas for your books?’, ‘How many times can you hop on one leg?’ But this time, there was a brand new question i had never been asked before: ‘Why does the troll have gloopy earwax?’

I loved it! Not only did it make me laugh, but it was great to see how 5-and 6-year-olds were thinking about why a character looked and behaved the way he did. There were more giggles as we talked about the personal hygiene of a troll and the possible uses he had for gloopy earwax (which I won’t mention, as you might be eating lunch as you read this).

It was lovely to see the children so engaged with the characters and enjoying the weird and wonderful world of fairy tales.

Thank you, Two Moors, for inviting me in and for a lovely morning.

(And if the classroom ever run out of gloopy glue, you know who to ask…)

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