WAR GAME by Michael Foreman

WAR GAME

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

 In the same format as Foreman's fine book about his early childhood on the British home front during WW II (War Boy, 1990), this fictionalized depiction of WW I (1993 Smarties Book Prize winner) is also based on family history: The four uncles whose experiences Foreman portrays here all died in the war. First seen playing a carefree game of soccer, they enlist during 1914's patriotic fervor, vividly recalled in guilt-inducing slogans on recruitment posters. In a narrative that derives considerable irony from its very simplicity, Foreman follows the four boys through the euphoria of training to the grim life in the trenches and a Christmas cease-fire, when German and English soldiers ``agreed that they should take the opportunity to bury the dead'' with a ``joint burial service,'' exchanged gifts, and played ball. Foreman's splendid watercolors--more impressionistic than those in War Boy--vividly convey the scene while also evoking the sensations of life in the trenches. Though the bloodshed is muted in the illustrations, Foreman's conclusion underscores the tragedy: As carnage resumes after the generals extinguish the flicker of peace, a poignant series of spreads portrays the death, in a quiet fall of snow, of the first of the four--Will, 18. A thoughtful and beautifully wrought book, powerful in its understatement. (Picture book. 8+)

Pub Date: April 7th, 1994
ISBN: 1-55970-069-X
Page count: 72pp
Publisher: Arcade
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1994




MORE BY MICHAEL FOREMAN

ChildrenOH, IF ONLY... by Michael Foreman
by Michael Foreman
ChildrenKASPAR THE TITANIC CAT by Michael Morpurgo
by Michael Morpurgo
ChildrenFORTUNATELY, UNFORTUNATELY by Michael Foreman
by Michael Foreman