Odd and the Frost Giants: Norse mythology on audio for kids

fantasy book reviews Neil Gaiman Odd and the Frost Giantsfantasy book reviews Neil Gaiman Odd and the Frost GiantsOdd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Odd’s childhood has not been easy. His father has died, his leg is crippled, his new stepfather is unpleasant, and the winter just won’t end. So, Odd decides to go off to stay in his father’s old hut in the woods. Soon he’s befriended by a bear, a fox, and an eagle. But these aren’t your normal bear, fox, and eagle — these animals can talk, and they tell Odd that they are the gods Loki, Thor, and Odin. They’ve temporarily lost their powers and their home to the Frost Giants. Bravely, young Odd sets out across a beautifully enchanting winter landscape to help the gods get home.

Odd and the Frost Giants is a short and sweet adventure fantasy for boys and girls which is based on Norse mythology. I listened to the audio version (2 hours long) which was produced by Harper Children’s Audio and read by Neil Gaiman himself. Gaiman’s reading is charming — it sounds just as if he’s telling the story to his own children at bedtime.

Except for the initial sadness and isolation that Odd feels, there’s not much tension in Odd and the Frost Giants. All conflicts are quickly and easily resolved, and the ending is happy. It won’t appeal much to most adults, but it’s just the sort of sweet story that will appeal to their imaginative children.

Odd and the Frost Giants — (2008) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Odd’s luck has been bad so far. He lost his father on a Viking expedition, his foot was crushed beneath a tree, and the winter seems to be going on forever. But when Odd flees to the woods and releases a trapped bear, his luck begins to change. The eagle, bear and fox he encounters reveal they’re actually Nordic gods, trapped in animal form by the evil Frost Giants who have conquered Asgard, the city of the gods. Can a twelve-year-old boy reclaim Thor’s hammer, outwit the Frost Giants and release the gods?

SHARE:  facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail  FOLLOW:  facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrsstumblr

KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

View all posts by


  1. This is probably the closest Gaiman has ever come to actually showing that he “Gets” the northern mythologies, At least since the Sandman comics ages ago. It’s going to take a lot of effort on his part to ever get me to forgive him for the mess he made out of Beowulf. As far as Vikings for Kids books go.. this was in every way superior to the abysmally bad “How to train your dragon” books..

    I really love the artwork.

  2. Unfortunately, I missed the art since I listened to this on audio. I’ll have to find and flip through the book!


  1. Odd and the Frost Giants: A charming children’s story | Fantasy Literature: Fantasy and Science Fiction Book and Audiobook Reviews - [...] to be read out loud, although an advanced young reader would certainly enjoy it. Kat’s review, here, is of …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *