________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 25. . . .March 4, 2016


Anna & Froga: Fore!

Anouk Ricard. Translated by Helge Dascher.
Montreal, PQ: Enfant/Drawn & Quarterly, 2015.
40 pp., hardcover, $17.95.
ISBN 978-1-77046-204-5.

Subject Heading:
Graphic novels.

Grades 6-8 / Ages 11-13.

Review by Myra Junyk.

**** /4



Bubu: Okay, who wants to learn how to cook my famous “Pasta alla Bubu”?
Froga: Not me.
Bubu: Sure you do! You’ll see. First, you boil up some noodles.
Froga: Makes sense.
Bubu: When they’re done, you add a can of tomato sauce.
Froga: Now that’s home cooking!
Bubu: My secret ingredient: a bit of grated cheese.
Froga: Very original!
Bubu: Oh no…it looks like soup!
Froga: You forgot to strain the noodles.


Anna and Froga are once again highlighted in the latest edition of the graphic novel series about the amusing duo and their friends. Readers see Bubu (the dog), Christopher and Agatha (the worms), as well as Ron (the cat), and follow their adventures as they have a picnic, go to a concert, take a walk in the park, go to a friend’s new restaurant, cook a new recipe, play mini-golf, go swimming, have a garage sale and pick cherries.

     At first, all of these events may seem very commonplace. In fact, the friends in this graphic novel are simply living their everyday lives and enjoying them. However, readers will soon discover lots of interesting ideas as they read the short selections about everyday events. In “Stage fright”, Christopher the worm is apprehensive about performing at his upcoming concert. The image of 10 worms playing the piano at a concert is hilarious. Christopher is in love with one of his fellow band members – Agatha. Will his love for her paralyze him at the concert? Will Agatha return his love? What is the future of their love story?

     The creator of the Anna and Froga series, Anouk Ricard, is an author, artist, and stop-motion animator. Born in the south of France, she began writing about the friends in 2004 after moving to Strasbourg. Anna and Froga: Fore! is the fourth volume in this series about a group of friends living their everyday lives with all the emotions, arguments and joking that go with their experiences. Ricard’s “Anna and Froga” comic strips were originally published in Capsule Compique magazine, and then successfully collected and reprinted by Éditions Sarbacane. The “Anna and Froga” books are now distributed by Drawn & Quarterly in Canada.

     Anouk Ricard’s graphic novel is meant for younger readers. It is written in short comic strips which tell amusing stories revealing a great deal about the characters and their actions. The friends poke fun at each other, but they also demand support from each other. Friendship is not something taken lightly. When they go to Hugo’s new restaurant, they hope to get a free meal; but instead, Hugo gives them disgusting food because they are not paying. When Bubu finds out the truth, he dumps a trash can on Hugo’s head in retaliation!

     Ricard’s illustrations are vivid and action-packed! Despite the fact that most of the characters are animals, their animated facial expressions (as well as their words) provide readers with a lot of information about how they are feeling about various events. Anna’s red dress and Froga’s bright green skin give readers a visual focus throughout the graphic novel.

     Readers will definitely enjoy the humour in this graphic novel as they learn a great deal about friendship, communication, and caring through the actions of this amusing group of characters. Although this book will most likely be read independently, it will inspire discussion about topics such as: communicating with friends, treating people with dignity, behaving honestly in financial transactions, respecting individual differences, and dealing with first aid emergencies and safety issues. In Anna & Froga: Fore!, Anouk Ricard gives readers lots of great information in a very amusing format!

Highly Recommended.

Myra Junyk is a Toronto-based literacy advocate and author.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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