The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale By Jon Klassen

The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale Summary

The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale
The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale page excerpt

Otilla is a young girl who has run away from home. She is lost in the forest when she comes across a large, abandoned house. The house is inhabited by a talking skull, who offers Otilla shelter. The skull tells Otilla that he is afraid of a headless skeleton that comes every night to try to steal him away.

The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale
The Book cover of the novel

Otilla agrees to stay with the skull and help him protect himself from the skeleton. The two of them become friends, and Otilla learns that the skull was once a kind and gentle man who was murdered. On the night of the skeleton’s attack, Otilla uses her wits and courage to defeat the skeleton and save the skull. The two of them live happily ever after in the abandoned house.


The book is a dark and eerie retelling of a traditional Tyrolean folktale. Klassen’s illustrations are black and white and full of shadows, which create a sense of suspense and unease. The story is told from Otilla’s point of view, and she is a sympathetic and relatable character. The book explores themes of friendship, courage, and the power of the human spirit.

“The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale” is a unique and unforgettable book that will appeal to readers of all ages. It is a story about the power of friendship and the importance of standing up to fear.

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