Andy Shuping's Reviews > Giants Beware!

Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
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Nov 25, 11

bookshelves: graphic-novel

ARC provided by NetGalley

Claudette is a warrior, just like her dad (and perhaps her mom as well.) She doesn’t want to be anything else in the world. And after hearing the story of how Marquis Pierre the XXXII chased the giant out of town, but let it go Claudette wants to find it...and kill it. But no one is allowed outside of the gate surrounding their town. How can she be a warrior if she can’t leave the town? With the help of her best friend Marie (an aspiring princess) and her brother Gaston (an aspiring baker) they escape the town and go hunting for the giant. Along the way the discover hidden secrets about their town and why they can’t leave. They also discover a bit more about themselves and what bravery truly means. Will Claudette, Marie, and Gaston be able to find the giant? Or where their parents stop the first? Or will worse happen to everyone? Read on to find out.

I love First Second titles and this one is no exception. It’s one of those books that has something to appeal to everyone. This one is a fun and thrilling ride with a well written story. I really like the character development in this one, especially the three main characters. It’s nice to see a female character that doesn’t want to be princess when she grows up, but a warrior. And that the male character, even though he wants to make swords, likes to bake as well (and is quite good at it.) Even Marie, who wants to be a princess when she grows up, shows from the very start she has a good head on her shoulders and by the end is considering being a diplomat. In other words, the book defies some of the typical stereotypes that you see. In this book I really enjoy the interaction between the three characters, it’s fantastic watching them interact with the world and growing up over the short time span their on this adventure. It seems like the creators are hoping to make this a continuing series and I’d definitely be interested in learning more about this town and the secrets it holds.

One thing that bothers me a bit about this book is that some times the words chosen don’t fit the age range of the book. I see the book as being for the elementary school range, but they use words like odoriferous or the discussion on politics at the beginning that just don’t fit that. While it would let the child come and ask their parents questions about what it means it just seems to be a bit of a deterrent to me.

I really like the artwork in this book, especially in the opening sequence. It’s a bit different than the rest of the book as it uses more muted colors and shadows, but it’s really well done. The rest of the book is done in brighter colors, still very well drawn, and perfect for a young reader. In fact the style reminds me a lot of Jeff Smith’s Bone, especially in the way the background and older characters are depicted. They have a lot more detail to them, more age lines on their faces, while the three main characters are almost less defined. It’s as if the artist is giving readers a chance to put themselves in the main characters places, making it easier for the reader to identify with them. My absolute favorite character designs are Zubair and Claudette’s father, Augustine. I love the way they move while on their journey and the grizzle looks on their faces. Overall I really enjoyed the art in this book.

I’d highly recommend this book to any elementary school/middle school reader, especially young girls that are looking for a story where the girl isn’t a princess.
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