Waterloo & Trafalgar

Finally, the wordless picture book referencing the Napoleonic Wars we've all been waiting for!                     

*Olivier Tallec has mastered the cartoon strip illustrative feel -- now he just needs to refine the whole "what excites kids" thing 
*Even though I have no idea in what order one is supposed to turn those paper slivers in between full pages, it was at least creative
*Has a happy ending and a final image that is the best part of the whole experience     

*I've watched a YouTube of Mr. Tallec on YouTube and he seems like a cool guy who makes a compelling argument for how illustration bridges language gaps -- but that doesn't mean that this particular attempt worked  
*My son said "I don't get it" when we finished -- even if he's no Blaise Pascal, my kid's still a pretty sharp dude (who was definitely paying attention as we flipped though)
*Seriously, those paper slivers were just annoying and didn't seem to further the story

In hindsight, I should have been tipped off by the back cover's description of how the author "shows the pointlessness of enmity."  Sacrebleu!  That's some serious talk right there.  While it's almost impossible to disagree with the sentiment, you'd have to expect that anyone who uses these words to describe it would have trouble relating to children on their level.  Even with Tallec's many artistic talents, it doesn't come off the right way.  Waterloo & Trafalgar is simply too esoteric for its own good, which is hard to believe for something lacking a single word.  Think of it as the Pierre-Charles Villeneuve of the kidlit world -- French, aristocratic, worthy of some praise, yet clearly a losing proposition that ultimately Destroys itself.                    

Buy / Borrow / Donate / DESTROY

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