Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1926
Gorgeous graphic novel
(Updated: April 10, 2012)
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
GIANTS BEWARE! Because there’s a hero in the house and her name is Claudette. Small, fierce, red-haired Claudette lives in a walled town, and chafes at the restriction. Just listening to stories of evil giants and those who fought them is not enough for her. She wants to go out and fight them herself. Of course, she gets her chance, and while the ending is possibly a little predictable, the road to that ending is anything but. GIANTS BEWARE! is filled with unexpected twists and surprises that take this appealing graphic novel and make it even more wonderful.

Part of the charm of the book lies in the trio of friends who set out together to face the giant. Claudette, of course, is ready for the fray – more than ready. With a wooden play sword and a map stolen from her father, she races off heedless of any danger. Luckily, she has friends to make the journey with her: Gaston, her pastry-chef-in-training younger brother; and girly-girl Marie (whose avowed life goal is to be a princess). Although Gaston worries he is a coward and Marie has generally been more concerned with etiquette than sword-fighting, their companionship is indispensable, and without them, the quest would absolutely fail. All three children (of course) learn lessons about themselves and grow as a result of their journey, but that process never feels inevitable, nor do the characters ever seem like archetypes, but are true individuals, their characters and choices springing from their unique selves rather than from the demands of a plot.

Some graphic novels feel forced and can be difficult to read, but GIANTS BEWARE! never does. The story and illustrations work together seamlessly, the pictures pulling the story forward as surely as do the words. I love graphic novels anyway, but this is an especially fine example of the genre, and one well worth reading.
Good Points
Admirable heroine
Believable characters
Unexpected twists
Successful fusion of text and pictures
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