giants beware

Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre, illustrated by Rafael Rosado

Claudette lives in a town protected by a huge wall to keep the giant out.  Years earlier, the town had been terrorized by The Baby-Feet Eating Giant who still figures into most of the stories to keep the children in town in line.  Claudette though knows that she is brave enough to slay any giant, so she sets out with her wooden sword to kill the giant.  She brings along her friend Marie who desperately wants to be a princess and her younger brother Gaston who is a disappointment to their father who wants him to be more brave.  Gaston on the other hand wants to be a chef.  The three children head out on their quest that will take them through the Forest of Death, across the Mad River, and up to the Giant’s Peak.  Unfortunately, their parents are following them to bring them back home before their adventure is really complete!  Can Claudette kill the giant before being dragged back to safety?

How I love a book that turns gender stereotypes on their head.  In Claudette, a spunky girl who is brave and ferocious, the author does just that.  Claudette is wild, heroic and along the way learns a lot about being a better friend and sibling.  Told with plenty of humor, the storyline is tight,  and the world building is amazing.

Rosado’s illustrations shout with color and energy.  This full-color graphic novel gets a lot of its appeal from the strength of the illustrations, their clarity and the skill with which the story is depicted. 

Highly recommended for all library collections, this is a graphic novel that has broad appeal.  Here’s hoping there are more monsters to slay in upcoming episodes of this feisty red-headed heroine!  Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from copy received from First Second.