By Olivier Tallec
Enchanted Lions Books 17.95 64 pages
Oliver Tallec’s picture book, Waterloo & Trafalgar, features two soldiers watching each other. Throughout 64 pages of wordless pictures, the two soldiers peer at each other though scopes from across two narrow walls. As seasons pass, they become frightened as each blows their noses, plays the radio, and accidentally does an action that could start a war.
The book, according to the editor’s note, is a picture book that is supposed to comically show how pointless war can be. The names of Waterloo and Trafalgar were consciously chosen – not only because they are silly words, but also because of the historical significance to the French author.
The point of the book, according to Tallec, is to see how pride, territory and foolish stubbornness can keep us from seeing things as they really are. In the end, Waterloo and Trafalgar overcome their differences and accept each other as friends.
The illustrations throughout the book are simply done – rough pencil sketches highlighted with splashes of bright orange and blue. The sharp contrast is able to emphasize the “yours and mine” mentality illustrated in the pictures. It is a relief when the two become friends and the pages erupt with blue and orange, co-mingling on the page.
Reviewed By Sophie Sestero