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Big George: A Novel

Overview

Big George is a wonderful tale of friendship and understanding set amidst a fantastical medieval background full of plots and high excitement. Middle readers will love the adventure, the humor, and the final blowout triumph of George!

This is the story of the first visitor to England from Outer Space. The year is 1103. England is a land of darkness and wilderness, and her people believe in fairies, dragons, and the possibility of magic.

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Overview

Big George is a wonderful tale of friendship and understanding set amidst a fantastical medieval background full of plots and high excitement. Middle readers will love the adventure, the humor, and the final blowout triumph of George!

This is the story of the first visitor to England from Outer Space. The year is 1103. England is a land of darkness and wilderness, and her people believe in fairies, dragons, and the possibility of magic.

Into this land with a loud, thundering crash falls a Stranger. He lands in the middle of a forest during the night. The Stranger is a lot like the people of Earth, only taller — much, much taller, with blue and green hair, and a face so pale it glows like a distant star. As can be expected when one lands with such a bang, there are a few bumps and bruises, and the memory of where he came from and why he was sent are bumped right out of his head.

As the Stranger wanders out of the forest, he is first spotted by a frightened poacher, Simpkin Sampkins, who runs to spread the word. Luckily, he next encounters Tilly, the Miller's daughter. She is kind and pretty, and happy to make a new friend. Tilly exclaims, "By George," when she first spies this huge being, and the name sticks. Even though Tilly and George speak different languages, they understand each other very well and become fast friends.

And so the adventure begins. Tilly and George must defend themselves and each other from many foes. First there is the greedy Miller, with his selfish plot to sell Tilly to be wed to the gruesome Bones Lousewort, son of the local Baron. Then there are the simple villagers, scared of something so strange (and so big), who attack George because of their fears. There is evil Baron Lousewort and his two nasty cronies, Silas Sludge and Bartholomew Bog, who have a devious plan to kill George. And though they don't know it, Tilly and George are up against time itself, as George's internal clock gets set to send him to sleep for nine hundred years. Join the fun as these two friends face great trials — and win!

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Editorial Reviews

Canadian Materials
Mean, nasty, awful people ... unpleasant and dangerous situations, all described with a light comic touch.... Recommended.
— Luella Sumner
Canadian Materials - Luella Sumner
Mean, nasty, awful people ... unpleasant and dangerous situations, all described with a light comic touch, so that readers do not know whether to shudder in disgust or laugh out loud. Probably they will do both while following the adventures of Big George, the large (taller than a tree) alien who crashlanded in England back in the year 1103.... The descriptions of the many characters convey such nastiness that it must have been difficult for the illustrator to know how to depict them. Colin Paine solves this problem by concentrating more on the comical aspects of the characters in his pen and ink drawings. Recommended.
Children's Literature
In the year 1103, something very large makes a crash landing in a forest in England. It is almost human-like except for being huge, blue and green with a luminous face and a giraffe neck. The first to see this stranger is Simpkin Samkins, the village poacher. He is terrified. Tilly, the miller's daughter, notices him next. "By George, you're big! You're very big, by George." And that is how the Grolyhoomp form the distant star got his name. Tilly and George become fast friends, which is a good thing, as the poor girl is engaged to the evil baron's ugly whimpering son. The baron and his evil henchmen try to kill the giant and eventually manage to poison poor George. But the brave guy must rescue the sobbing Tilly at her wedding before it is too late. With lots of adventure and humor comes a rollicking tale of devious plots, friendship and heroism set against a medieval background. Simple pen and ink drawings follow the action. Guess what? George needs to sleep for 900 years...you do the math. 2001, Annick Press, $18.95 and $9.95. Ages 6 to 10. Reviewer: Laura Hummel AGES: 6 7 8 9 10
Kirkus Reviews
Employing devices usually reserved for soap operas, first-timer Pringle tells the tale of a giant from outer space and how he saves the damsel Tilly from an unwelcome marriage. The giant Big George crashes his spaceship, smacks his head, loses his memory, and has an adventure in tenth-century England, only to fall into a 900-year nap at the end. Tilly befriends the giant, whom she calls a grolyhoomp, even though they have no common language. She can miraculously see past his enormous body, protruding neck, and glowing face and into his kind heart. Tilly's father cares only about money and is willing to sell his own daughter to the revolting Baron Grimshanks Lousewort to marry his dragon-breathed son, Bones. The final battle scene is where Pringle pulls out all the stops. Big George, after feasting on a meal intended to kill him, becomes filled with "billowing poisonous gas." It is then expelled in one dramatic moment. In case the reader misunderstood what has transpired, Pringle reiterates, "A grolyhoomp passing wind is an awesome thing." Paine's pen-and-ink illustrations, reminiscent of Quentin Blake's style, cannot save this tale, but they do add a humorous touch. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550377125
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Pringle has done many dramatizations for television and radio, including Doctor Who and several Thomas Hardy novels. This is his first children's book. Eric lives in Ledbury, England.

Colin Paine is the illustrator of The Conjuror's Cookbook (Bloomsbury). He lives in Worthing, England.

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Read an Excerpt

Foreword

This book is about England's very first visitor from outer space.

It is the story of how he got his name and how, helped by the smallest of girls, he became the Biggest Hero England Ever Had.

These things happened a long time ago, in the Year of Our Lord 1103.

Close your eyes. Imagine that time...

The Norman Conquest happened only thirty-seven years ago, and now a Norman, King Henry the First, sits upon the throne of England. He has two and a half million subjects, most of them as poor as church mice.

England is full of dark places. There are deep, dark, trackless forests roamed by deer and wolves and wild boar. There are dark mountain regions where people are afraid to wander and wildcats hiss in the mist. And everywhere the people believe in the dark power of magic, in wizards and witches and the power of potions.

In this half-civilized land, mighty barons hunt in the forests by day, for sport. At night, hungry poachers steal through the trees looking for food.

This is everyday life in the Year of Our Lord 1103.

Nothing extraordinary is happening. But it's about to.

 

Listen!

Do you hear that noise?

Something is approaching very fast. Heading for England.

Here it comes...

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Preface

Foreword

This book is about England's very first visitor from outer space.

It is the story of how he got his name and how, helped by the smallest of girls, he became the Biggest Hero England Ever Had.

These things happened a long time ago, in the Year of Our Lord 1103.

Close your eyes. Imagine that time...

The Norman Conquest happened only thirty-seven years ago, and now a Norman, King Henry the First, sits upon the throne of England. He has two and a half million subjects, most of them as poor as church mice.

England is full of dark places. There are deep, dark, trackless forests roamed by deer and wolves and wild boar. There are dark mountain regions where people are afraid to wander and wildcats hiss in the mist. And everywhere the people believe in the dark power of magic, in wizards and witches and the power of potions.

In this half-civilized land, mighty barons hunt in the forests by day, for sport. At night, hungry poachers steal through the trees looking for food.

This is everyday life in the Year of Our Lord 1103.

Nothing extraordinary is happening. But it's about to:

Listen!

Do you hear that noise?

Something is approaching very fast. Heading for England.

Here it comes...

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Foreword

This book is about England's very first visitor from outer space.

It is the story of how he got his name and how, helped by the smallest of girls, he became the Biggest Hero England Ever Had.

These things happened a long time ago, in the Year of Our Lord 1103.

Close your eyes. Imagine that time...

The Norman Conquest happened only thirty-seven years ago, and now a Norman, King Henry the First, sits upon the throne of England. He has two and a half million subjects, most of them as poor as church mice.

England is full of dark places. There are deep, dark, trackless forests roamed by deer and wolves and wild boar. There are dark mountain regions where people are afraid to wander and wildcats hiss in the mist. And everywhere the people believe in the dark power of magic, in wizards and witches and the power of potions.

In this half-civilized land, mighty barons hunt in the forests by day, for sport. At night, hungry poachers steal through the trees looking for food.

This is everyday life in the Year of Our Lord 1103.

Nothing extraordinary is happening. But it's about to.

 

Listen!

Do you hear that noise?

Something is approaching very fast. Heading for England.

Here it comes...

Read More Show Less

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