Reviews for Waterloo & Trafalgar
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
This wordless book featuring a couple of acrimonious fuddy-duddies (each named for a famous battle) has a terrific pacifist message. Separated by brick walls, the men misunderstand, yell at, annoy, and are about to shoot each other when a bird (of peace) intercedes. The cartoony vignettes depict a couple of slapstick types differentiated only by wardrobe color and facial hair.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 October #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #2
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.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC