Edda: A Little Valkyrie’s First Day At School, by Adam Auerbach | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | July 22, 2014
Written and Illustrated by Adam Auerbach
Age Range: 4-8
Hardcover: 40 Pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (June 24, 2014)
What to expect: Fantasy, Humor, Female protagonist
A smart, fantastic, female-driven adventure.
It’s not everyday that a children’s book was inspired by its author-illustrator listening to Wagner’s Ring Cycle, but that’s precisely the case with Edda. The book, like The Ring Cycle, is rooted in Norse sagas. In this case, the story of Edda, who finds her fantastical land a bit drab and, so, journeys to a more exciting place: a school on earth. In this way (at least from the perspective of earthbound readers) the book reverses the usual direction of adventures, from the familiar to the strange, and makes the familiar into something exciting and strange. After all, for Edda, who lives in “Asgard, a land full of magic,” Norse gods and goddesses, and dragons, the world of school books, teachers, and homework is a far off land of adventure. As “the littlest Valkyrie,” Edda longs for a playmate, and at last talks her papa into flying with her to earth where she can meet friends on her first day of school.
At first, Edda is a bit put off by life at school. There are no fantastical creatures, just a class hamster named Rex. Everyone has to sit in desks and rows. When she wants to draw, it’s time for writing practice. Then Edda writes a story about Asgard and reads it to her classmates, telling of all her wonderful adventures there. At day’s end, she brings a new friend home with her, and Edda and her friend tell all the inhabitants of Asgard about the school back on earth. Now both worlds seem like charming lands. The next day, Edda returns to school, this time bringing a friend from home with her: a dragon, who is shy and quite intimidated by this strange new place. “Don’t worry,” Edda says. “Dragons are very brave.”
This book, wonderfully written and illustrated by Adam Auerbach, provides a fun and imaginative tale, with a uniquely voiced female character at its center. Certain to charm all children, Nordic or not.
Add this book to your collection: Edda: A Little Valkyrie’s First Day At School
About the Author
Adam Auerbach is an illustrator and graphic designer from Brooklyn, New York. He was inspired to create this story while listening to Richard Wagner’s ‘Ring Cycle, ‘ a series of operas based on Norse mythology. Adam has always loved the stories of the rugged Norse gods and monsters. For more information, visit: adamauerbach.com.
Edda: A Little Valkyrie’s First Day At School, by Adam Auerbach, was reviewed by Trevor Jockims. Follow along with our book reviews and articles tagged with Back-to-School Books, Dragons, Fantasy, Humor, First Day of School Books, and Strong Female Characters—as well as our Ages 4-8, and Picture Book categories—to discover more great kids books.