‘Odd and the Frost Giants’ may be a seasonal treat for a child, or just because you like beautiful books. It is a new edition of a book produced for World Book Day in the UK. Gaiman and Riddell’s latest collaboration is as impressive as ‘The Sleeper and the Spindle’ (a retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Snow White).
‘Odd and the Frost Giants’ sees Gaiman in his familiar territory of Norse mythology. The story centres around Odd who lives in a Viking village with his parents. Tragedy befalls Odd, and he is forced to forge his path away from the Viking village in a never ending winter. As with all Neil Gaiman stories, this book has disguised gods and an unlikely hero using his wits to beat a physically powerful and magical foe. It is a well-crafted story of hope and bravery and showcases Gaiman’s skill at reimagining folk tales. What makes this story beautiful are Chris Riddell’s illustrations. Riddell has a remarkable, expressive ability to create beautiful, emotive characters. His pictures alone were the reason I bought this edition. It is a gorgeous edition to admire on a winter’s evening, snuggled by a fire and free to dream of frost giants.