Anton and the Battle by Ole Konnecke

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Anton and the Battle by Ole Konnecke

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Rather violent, but I know of many little ones who will love all the competitive action in this story!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: February 2013
Publisher: Gecko Press
ISBN: 978-1877579264

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Anyone who has spent any amount of time with small children will know of the 'well I'm taller than you!' arguments which seem to appear, all of a sudden, and carry on for years! Everything becomes a competition, and it's all about who is stronger or bigger or can eat more beans or can run the fastest or jump the highest or has the noisiest baby brother...This story captures the way these arguments begin, and escalate, as we meet Anton and his friend Luke and see them imagining bigger and bigger ways of being 'better' than each other!

Anton and Luke meet each other when they're out playing, and Anton immediately declares himself to be stronger than Luke. Luke laughs, disbelieving, and so Anton demonstrates by imagining the size of a stone he could lift. Luke, of course, retaliates by imagining a much bigger stone! The competitiveness increases, and gets sillier and sillier until they're imagining themselves with a cartoon style bomb and a stick of TNT! Soon one is swinging a man-eating tiger over his head, and the other declares he can do the same with a lion, and then the next minute they're both claiming to be able to slay a four-headed dragon!

Out of nowhere, in the middle of this tussle, a real dog appears. The two boys are startled and off they run, trying to get away from the 'big' dog (who isn't big at all and is rather cute actually!) until they find themselves up a tree, waiting for the dog to go away. And do they stop arguing once they're in the tree? No, of course not! They both decide that they're hungry, but one can eat a cake this big and the other can eat a cake THIS big! In the end they notice that the dog has gone, and so they climb down the tree. They run off together, still fighting and this time it's about which of them is fastest! I actually preferred the ending my husband thought was coming, which was that they would stand at the bottom of the tree to say goodbye to each other and say something like 'See you again tomorrow?' showing that even with all these battles, they were still really good friends!

The book is done in a clever way - each boy has his own pencil colour for his 'imaginings' so you can see Anton's large, heavy stone or Luke's even larger stone. I loved that it showed how real your imagination can become, that anything you picture in your head can really be there as you play. My only real quibble with the story is how violent it gets. It's done with humour, but still, by the time the boys are imagining TNT to throw at each other, swiftly followed by a two page spread of them each holding an enormous bomb, well, I just felt maybe it had gone a little too far. I much preferred the humorous ideas, such as swinging the man-eating tiger and lion over their heads! I know children can be rather violent, and enjoy other people being violent, but I'm just adding my observations as a note of caution because perhaps this isn't to everyone's tastes in humour.

This is a great story for little boys, probably those approaching school age or having just started at school as that's when this sort of behaviour is rife! My six year old daughter enjoyed it too though, so really it's one for everyone!

You might also enjoy reading another highly imaginative child's story in I Can Do Anything That's Everything All on My Own (Charlie & Lola) by Lauren Child

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Buy Anton and the Battle by Ole Konnecke at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Anton and the Battle by Ole Konnecke at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Anton and the Battle by Ole Konnecke at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Anton and the Battle by Ole Konnecke at


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