My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Super Fast
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Friendship, Adventure
Claudette’s fondest wish is to slay a giant. But her village is so safe and quiet! What’s a future giant slayer to do? With her best friend Marie (an aspiring princess), and her brother Gaston (a pastry-chef-to-be), Claudette embarks on a super-secret quest to find a giant—without parental permission. Can they find and defeat the giant before their parents find them and drag them back home?
Although this is the first time I read this graphic novel and met Claudette, Marie and Gaston, these characters felt familiar to me, as though I have read about them before.
I haven’t. But this feeling overcomes me when I’m introduced to characters that either resemble ones I have been introduced to before, or are so singular that they just feel ‘‘right,’’ like they were meant to be written about.
In this case, it’s the latter. This friendship trio could not be more perfect… and different. Claudette dreams of adventure and most recently, killing giants. Marie dreams of becoming worthy of being a princess and wishes for her friend Claudette to be by her side always as a lady-in-waiting (as if *that’s* going to happen). Gaston, Claudette’s little brother, wants nothing more than to bake all day… and learn the art of sword-making.
I never would have thought such distinct people could become best friends, let alone gather themselves to go giant-slaying together. If you had told me, I would have said, ‘‘Well that I certainly MUST see.’’ As you may expect, these three children face many obstacles and stumble into much trouble. Claudette, although courageous and action-driven, is still a child who gets caught and makes mistakes. Fortunately, three people with three different minds may just be enough to complete a quest as dangerous as this one.
I enjoyed myself tremendously while reading this story. It’s light and not to be taken too seriously. But it is smart and the ‘‘obstacles’’ rather original. The characterizations are well done and I couldn’t imagine anyone else being the heroes and heroines of this series. The ending left me unmoved – I did expect there to be a WOW-factor that never appeared – but I am overall very pleased with this graphic novel. I can’t wait for more! Luckily, there IS more!
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