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Giants Beware! (The Chronicles of Claudette) Paperback – April 10, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-Rambunctious Claudette, the daughter of the town blacksmith, sets off to kill the local giant with her best friend and brother in tow. Action and friendship, drawn in a clear, cheerful style, make this graphic novel a great choice for "Bone" (Scholastic) fans.α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"The story, with its riffs on fairy tales and quest narratives, offers just the right balance of familiarity and originality, with plenty of humorous asides."―The New York Times
"Comedy and fairy tale sensibilities balance perfectly in this exciting debut by writer Aguirre and illustrator Rosado."―Publishers Weekly starred
"This is one book that readers are sure to enjoy again and again."―Children's Literature
"The story strikes a fine balance between beingaction-and friendship-driven. The art is similarly well-balanced: Rosado’s inkdrawings are strong and lively, with expressive characters and well-drawnlandscapes."―School Library Journal starred
"This winning graphic novel will inspire kids dreamingof becoming knights and princesses alike by mixing appealing fairy-tale plotswith unconventional solutions."―Horn Book
"Entertaining, lively, and downright goofy, this willfind an audience among fans of fairy tales and comic books alike."―The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"A zingy little story told with fine flair."―Booklist
Top customer reviews
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I really enjoyed that the characters were quirky and multidimensional and the story wasn't too violent (as many graphic novels are wont to be). One of the takeaways from the story is that you just can't rely on stereotypes to tell you who someone truly is: a huge giant can be friendly, a wannabe princess can be smart, a tough cookie can be vulnerable. This in and of itself is not a unique message among children's literature, but what was refreshing about Giants Beware is that you're not beaten over the head with it -- the characters are allowed to develop more naturally, and the overall plot is very strong and stands on its own.
I look forward to reading more of The Chronicles of Claudette!
Not only are the characters delightful with more depth than one might expect in a graphic novel, but the plot has some delicious twists and turns. I loved the twist at the end which I did not predict. I knew something would happen that would encourage Claudette to think more before she rushes into things, but the ending was a nice surprise. I also liked how her friend and brother were given a chance to shine also. I appreciated Claudette's courage in standing up to the local bullies, even if her actions were rather rash at times. A lot of times secondary characters fade so much into the background that you hardly notice them. That is not the case here. The illustrations are gorgeous and very appealing, the writing crisp and easy to follow. This is one graphic novel that I can recommend very highly indeed.
In terms of the writing the pacing of the book is very fast and fun. The characters overcome obstacles and solve problems through non-violent means and learn about thinking beyond stereotypes and about finding their inner talents and pursuing their dreams. The story is reminiscent of Jeff Smith's Bone in that it creates a very interesting fantasy world for the characters to inhabit and it appears to be setting up a cool long term narrative that will go beyond the first book.
I highly recommend this book.
Every character, even the walk-ons, has a very distinct look, informed by their personalities. I loved that Claudette, Marie, and Gaston, who so easily could have been reduced to tropes in less thoughtful hands (the feisty warrior, the princess, the scaredy-cat) each have their own dreams, and strengths, and weaknesses, that the creators clearly respect and admire. In each trial they face along their quest, the children's various strengths come into play -- Marie's diplomacy, Gaston's unexpected bravery, and Claudette's ability to do the hardest thing of all: admit she was wrong and ask her friends for help.
In some graphic novels the action can be hard to track, but here, even the pages that are practically dialogue-free are easy to follow. Highly recommend this engaging introduction to Claudette's world, and can't wait for the sequel!