Review: The Villain: The Noble Adventures of Georges and Jean-Luc
|August 5, 2014||Posted by webmaster under children's books, Christian book reviews|
By Katherine Thompson
Illustrated by Gary R Thompson
Georges and Jean-Luc are all boy. They live in a world enriched by their imaginations, imaginations formed by the grand old tales that have enchanted children forever. No small world theirs, they look out over the plains and see distant countries to be explored and conquered. Valiant hearted boys, they nevertheless fear one citizen of their little town: the baker. They never go to the baker without their mothers because the villain is terrifying. In the end, a combination of personal courage, respect for authority, and sheer desire for a cookie helps them overcome their fear.
Unlike many contemporary read-aloud books for children, this one feeds their hearts and minds with rich fare. The illustrations are a feast for the eyes and help convey the story. Close scrutiny of the pictures is rewarded in many ways but children are especially delighted to find the tiny blue observer hiding in each one. They invite readers into the story, show what the characters are thinking and why. The illustrations are not simplified, childish drawings colored with stark colors as if children cannot appreciate the beauty and complexity of art.
Likewise, while the plot is very much childlike, the vocabulary does not condescend to young listeners and readers with dull childish language. The narrative voice is powerful yet gentle. Georges and Jean-Luc, like most children, love the feel and sound of long words, even if they don’t always pronounce them right. Parents and teachers may tire of defining words, but children never tire of asking.
As Lisa Conner at Outskirts Press said, “Throughout your story you do a nice job of keeping the reader engaged (and you sneak in a few life lessons which were amazing.) You have an excellent piece and write with a certain voice that allows your reader to really interact with the plot and learn something without even knowing that it is happening. So many authors rush through their stories without really developing them. Not you. You have crafted an excellent piece here. I am sure it will delight readers both young and old. Bravo!” I hope we can look forward to many more books in this series.
Unpaid review provided by a person associated with Athanatos Christian Ministries