'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 25 April 2011

Review: The General

General Jodhpur is a general much like any other. He rallies his troops, he instructs them in shooting, he made sure they polished their boots and badges to shining. In his spare time, the General liked to read up on famous battles and the armies who had won them.

One day, when out riding in the countryside, a fox dashes in front of the General’s horse and he falls to the ground. Although he’s unhurt, the general finds the grass so soft and cushiony, he lays there in the sunshine for quite a time, before marching back to camp.

Along the way, he notices something. The squirrels, the mice, the swallows, the pigeons, the beautiful field of flowers. It seems the General actually sees these things for the very first time – and he becomes overwhelmed with their beauty.

When he gets back to his barracks, the General has a horrible nightmare about his soldiers trampling the flowers, so he decides to make some changes. The next day, he tells all his soldiers to go home. To farm, to fish, to build and create. To make peace.

And so the General’s country becomes a peaceful place – so famously peaceful that he attracts the attention of General Nicoli Marcovitch from the East and General Custard from the West who come to observe the ways of General Jodhpur’s country.

Will these Generals also adopt the way of peace?

Walker Books have reissued this spectacular book which was first published in the early 1960s, and was the very first book children's book illustrated by award-winning artist Michael Foreman. Indeed, the illustrations are superb – childlike, charismatic and truly mesmerizing.

This 50th anniversary edition is something every child should read, and is absolutely a book collector’s must-have. In honour of our fallen on ANZAC Day.

Title: The General
Author: Janet Charters
Illustrator: Michael Foreman
Publisher: Walker Books, $29.95
Publication Date: 1 October 2010
ISBN: 9781921720079
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
For ages: 5 - 12
Type: Picture Book