|________________ CM . . . .
Volume VIII Number 12 . . . . February 15, 2002
The impression gained from this excerpt reflects the tone of this book -- mean, nasty, awful people and 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. Tilly, the miller's daughter, finds George and befriends him.
The Evil Baron Lousewort, who has a nasty son to whom Milly has been promised in marriage, tries to kill George using his two nasty cronies, Silas and Bartholomew. They feed poison to poor George who then becomes violently ill with cramps. In the hilarious conclusion, George relieves his abdominal distress by forcefully expelling a huge amount of gas which knocks every bad guy out for the count. Milly is able to find happiness with her true love, and the villagers go back to their usual pursuits, free from the tyranny of the evil Baron. George, whose alien body is geared to a sleep of at least 900 years, falls asleep in the forest. And if you add 900 years to 1103, you will know that Big George is going to wake up soon.
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.
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 England. Colin Paine, the illustrator of The Conjuror's Cookbook (Bloomsbury), also lives in England.
Luella Sumner is a retired librarian who lives in Red Rock, ON.
To comment on this
title or this review, send mail to email@example.com.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other
reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.