Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children, by Conn Iggulden, is imaginative, strange in a silly way, and takes explosion to a high art. In this thrilling collection of three stories, we met the Tollins. Here's what Tollins aren't:
"Tollins are not fairies. Though they both have wings, fairies are delicate creatures and much smaller. When he was young, Sparkler [a Tollin] accidentally broke one and had to shove it behind a bush before its friends noticed.
In addition, fairies cannot sing B-sharp. They can manage a very nice B-flat, in a quite sweet voice, but B-sharp comes out like a frog being run over by a bicycle. Tollins regard fairies as fluttery show-offs and occasionally use them to wipe out the insides of cups." (page 15)
They aren't like us, either. They are small, and have wings. Unfortunately, because they weigh so much, they can only use their wings for short hops over the ground.
In these stories, a young Tollin named Sparkler and his friends and family survive all the world can throw at them--being fired up in rockets by greedy fireworks makers, thrown into jail, and encounters with mysterious Dark Tollins from up north (note--although most of the other Tollins were used in fireworks, Sparkler was the only one who got thrown in jail).
The episodes include:
1. How to Blow up Tollins
2. Sparkler and the Purple Death
3. Windbags and Dark Tollins
I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys either small mystical creatures or things that go boom. Or people looking for a good book to read.
Age: Any. It was pretty easy to read, and there were lots of illustrations.
Iggulden also wrote The Dangerous Book for Boys.