Review Blog

Sep 25 2013

Horrendo's curse by Anna Fienberg

cover image

Ill. by Remy Simard. Allen and Unwin, 2013. ISBN 9781743315262
(Age: 8-10) Graphic Novel. Problem-solving. Pirates. Adventures. Risk taking.
Anna Fienberg's novel for younger readers, originally published in 2002, is now a rambunctious graphic novel.
As a baby Horrendo was cursed by a wise woman and he's unable to be rude to anyone. In his village, the boys who turn twelve are captured by rough pirates and turned into slaves, and for the next two years they are harshly treated. This brings about a difficult predicament for Horrendo as he can't fight or swear during his captivity.
This colourful graphic novel begins with Horrendo's twelfth birthday, surrounded by party goers taunting him with rude remarks and caustic comments about the upcoming dirtiest chapter of his life, his time with the fearsome pirates. Each speech bubble is filled with dire warnings and consequences.
When he is inescapably caught he takes on the role of cooking, something he's skilled at, and makes them French toast and soup. Whilst the crew love his food that is a vast change from old catfish and jellied eels, the pirate captain is extremely unhappy with Horrendo.
It's a fun re-release of this favourite story as a graphic novel. All the adventure, slightly gross humour and pirate antics make this a great read. Remy Simard's art is bright, bold and his style emphasizes the character's unique expressions, exaggerated actions and strong character attitudes. Fienberg's messages of respect for differences, cooperation and friendship are still current. A great read for eight years to ten years of age.
Rhyllis Bignell

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