Horns & Wrinkles
by Joseph Helgerson
I have to say, I've had this book for a while. I picked it up. Put it down. Picked it up again. And then put it down.
Finally, last week, I made myself read it. I don't know why I hesitated, but after reading John Gardner (yes, I am haunted by Mr. Gardner), Horns & Wrinkles was the perfect antidote. Funny. Insanely creative. Set up north where I grew up, so it felt like slipping into a comfy old chair that had been hidden away and forgotten. Gloriously complete.
Horns & Wrinkles is the story of a girl, Claire, whose cousin, Duke, has a spell put on him for being such a pain-in-the-you-know-what bully. Every time he bullies, he turns a little more into a rhino. Until all is really lost, and he becomes one, only he doesn't mind. And Claire, who hates all of his bullying, finds herself repeatedly trying to save his happily lost soul, help the river trolls find their fathers, turn her grandfather, aunt and uncle (and their dog) back into humans (they've been turned to stone), and hoping all the while that she's not actually a river troll disguised as a human herself.
I couldn't have come up with this in a million years, and now I totally want to get to know Joseph Helgerson. His style in Horns & Wrinkles is a combination of irreverent Mark Twain, folklorish Mississippi-river, and Helgerson hilarity. I grinned. I chuckled. I even laughed. And I kept wondering, "what in the world will he come up with next," and try as I might, Helgerson kept surprising me. Amazingly refreshing.
For more fun reads, pop over to our fearless leaders website, Barrie Summy, and dive into the delicacies listed there. So many good books. So little time!