Jane, The Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault
|Jane, The Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault|
|Category: Graphic Novels|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Beautifully illustrated and moving children's graphic novel about a bullied girl finding solace in her favourite book. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 104||Date: February 2014|
|Publisher: Walker Books|
Bullied at school and lonely because her former friends don't talk to her, Helene loses herself in the pages of Jane Eyre. To a girl who thinks of herself as fat and plain, Jane's story gives her hope - but can she find happiness? And how will a trip to a nature camp affect her? Can it give her the confidence and courage to change the way she sees herself?
While this is a well-written look at bullying and Fanny Britt really captures the poignancy of Helene's despair in her sparse, well-chosen words, it's Isabelle Arsenault's illustrations for this graphic novel which make it a must read. She particularly shines in her use of colour - for much of the book there's a muted palette for all of the sections about Helene's life, with just flashes of brightness interspersed as she reads Jane Eyre. Then there's a slight, but hugely important, shift in the colours towards the end of the book. I won't go into details for risk of spoilers, but it's brilliantly handled. It's also heartbreaking to see how Helene pictures herself as being overweight because of the taunts of her fellow pupils. The relationships between her and her tormentors, and her and her mother, are superbly portrayed. There's a particular scene when her and her mum go on a shopping expedition which doesn't go to plan which is absolutely stunning, both in terms of the writing and the artwork.
I think this is an important book which will be enjoyed by both children and adults. In particular, it's one that parents may well want to talk about with younger children to help them if they're struggling themselves with issues about friendship or body image. Highly recommended as an excellent read, I'd love to read more from Britt and/or Arsenault.
One of our favourite children's graphic novels recently has been the outstanding Hilda and the Bird Parade by Luke Pearson.
You can read more book reviews or buy Jane, The Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Jane, The Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault at Amazon.com.
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