On YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2015 List
On an ordinary day in the countryside, Philemon falls into a well on his father's farm and lands... in the Atlantic Ocean?! He begins a wild and whimsical journey through a fantasy world as original as Alice's Wonderland, as richly imagined as Little Nemo's Slumberland, and as exciting to explore as Oz.
About the Author
Frédéric Othon Aristidès (1931-2013), known as Fred, is one of France's most influential and revered cartoonists. When he was young, he loved to read Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and Oscar Wilde. In the sixties, Fred co-founded Hara-Kiri, the leading satirical publication of the May '68 movementhe designed its first 60 covers. Philémon, his story for young readers, was first published in Pilote in 1972 by René Goscinny, the author of the Astérix series. Philémon is Fred's most celebrated creation: millions of young French people have grown up with it, and it has inspired many of today's most talented cartoonists. The sixteenth and final volume of Philémon was released in 2013, before Fred's passing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fred is most known for his Philemon Adventures that first appeared in the July 1965 issue of Pilote, a French comic magazine. Although initially a serial publication, the Philemon Adventures were collected over the years into sixteen albums. Cast Away on the Letter A: A Philemon Adventure, is Fred’s first comic to be translated into English for a whole new generation to enjoy – it’s definitely a tale for kids of all ages. In the blurb for Cast Away on the Letter A the fantasy world created by Fred is compared to Alice’s Wonderland, Little Nemo’s Slumberland, and Oz. With a comparison like that, the bar is set pretty high and readers will definitely expect a grand experience. I am happy to report that Cast Away on the Letter A definitely delivers one. Philemon’s adventure begins when he falls into a well. He quickly gets pulled down deeper and deeper into the waters, encountering sharks and schools of fish before losing consciousness. After some time, Philemon wakes up on a beach. The clear sky boasts two suns and the surrounding land contains bizarre flora and fauna. Philemon soon learns that he is a cast away on an island shaped like the letter A. And not just any A, but the A from the word “Atlantic” as in the Atlantic Ocean – letters and words on maps that don’t even exist but for labeling purposes. In this fantasy land, Philemon will meet Bartholomew, a well digger from his own village; a centaur named Friday; exotic plants with transformative properties; a unicorn with a prophecy; and more! The art work is fun, colorful, and fantastic. The science nerd in me is so happy to see that on a world with two suns, Philemon correctly has two shadows! Cast Away on the Letter A has received so much advance praise that TOON Books plans to publish more Philemon Adventures and other works by Fred. isniffbooks[dot]wordpress[dot]com Disclosure: I received a complimentary book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.