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Waterloo & Trafalgar

Overview

Here Tallec portrays two characters, separated only by narrow walls, who watch each other ceaselessly through the seasons. Moving between day and night, long stretches at their binoculars, and mundane daily tasks, they fight their cold war, full of suspicion, never daring to bridge the gap between them.

As time passes, a snail shows up, and then a bird, and one day, to their utter surprise, they come face-to-face in a different way, and they ...

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Overview

Here Tallec portrays two characters, separated only by narrow walls, who watch each other ceaselessly through the seasons. Moving between day and night, long stretches at their binoculars, and mundane daily tasks, they fight their cold war, full of suspicion, never daring to bridge the gap between them.

As time passes, a snail shows up, and then a bird, and one day, to their utter surprise, they come face-to-face in a different way, and they discover that their differences don't make them enemies.

Waterloo & Trafalgar has a die-cut cover and interior section-cut flip pages, all of which contribute to allowing the reader to see things in different ways. And that, in the end, is so much of what this book is about: seeing and seeing otherwise.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
Tallec's rich, confident lines and colors connect him to the great French tradition of the bande dessinée, and the book is produced on satisfyingly heavy paper with a judicious use of die cuts that divide the action to comic effect. With no words to crowd the imagination, kids will love inventing their own stories out of each page. And they'll delight or puzzle over the camaraderie these two enemies achieve by the end.
—Elizabeth Rubin
Publishers Weekly
It’s hard to imagine a more charming antiwar polemic. It’s clear from the outset that Tallec’s (The Scar) two guards, with their stumpy bodies and stew-pot helmets, can only be engaged in folly. They sit on opposite sides of a border—Trafalgar in orange, Waterloo in blue (they’re named for Napoleon’s defeats, a note explains)—manning telescopes pointed at the other. Together, they endure the change of the seasons, the comfortable rituals of bedtime, and minor skirmishes, until one day a baby bird appears, improbably colored half-orange and half-blue, a deft allegory for civilians caught in war zones. Die cuts that divide the pages into thirds provide stop-action sequences, and Tallec’s comic abilities evoke giggles despite the sobering subject matter. This is a story for adults and children to work through together, as smaller readers may need help decoding some of the action. They won’t have any trouble with the conclusion, though, when the two guards throw their arms around each other, and Tallec reveals, in more ways than one, that they’re on the same side. Ages 6–10. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews
"The pointlessness of war, powerfully told despite having no words. [...] Tallec excels in expression; every movement, from scrunched-up anger to an exuberant grin, is meticulously planned, and these funny little soldiers show a wide range of emotion. [...] It is a truism that children represent the future--engaging stories about conflict resolution are necessary, and this one stands out. (Picture book. 5-10)"

"Tallec's rich, confident lines and colors connect him to the great French tradition of the bande dessinee, and the book is produced on satisfyingly heavy paper with a judicious use of die cuts that divide the action to comic effect. With no words to crowd the imagination, kids will love inventing their own stories out of each page. And they'll delight or puzzle over the camaraderie these two enemies achieve by the end." -- Elizabeth Rubin, The New York Times Book Review

"It is hard to imagine a more charming antiwar polemic." -- Publishers Weekly

"This book is outstanding. It speaks to peace without any preaching, allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions. It is a striking and vibrant example of what can be achieved with no words at all." -- Waking Brain Cells

"Waterloo and Trafalgar is a true gem - a much-to-be-admired example of storytelling power and a serious lesson about the absurdity of war that any reader (no matter how young) can appreciate." -- Colleen Mondor, Book Slut

Kirkus Reviews
The pointlessness of war, powerfully told despite having no words. Two squat soldiers, one dressed in electric blue, the other in fluorescent orange, spy on each other from across a field by peering through their spyglasses. (Clever circle die cuts in the cover show readers exactly what each soldier sees through his lens.) The dumpy, little men sit, watch and wait. An incident involving a small snail escalates into a huge argument, but even then, they don't attack. They just yell and shake their fists (black cartoon scribbles enliven the fury). Seasons pass, and snow and rain pour down, but still, the men watch and wait. Until one day a bird, half blue and half orange, finally forces them to come face to face. The two soldiers, Waterloo and Trafalgar, realize they are not as different as they thought. In an added twist, when the perspective pans out to show the full surroundings, readers gain a delightful, surprising insight. Tallec excels in expression; every movement, from scrunched-up anger to an exuberant grin, is meticulously planned, and these funny little soldiers show a wide range of emotion. It is a truism that children represent the future--engaging stories about conflict resolution are necessary, and this one stands out. (Picture book. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592701278
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 1,424,466
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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