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INTEREST LEVEL: Age 8+
READING LEVEL: Grade 3+
LEXILE LEVEL: GN 240L
DIMENSIONS: 7.75" x 10"
SERIES: The Philemon Adventures
September 9, 2014 release
About the Book
Meet Philemon, one of France's most beloved comic book adventurers!
On an ordinary day in the countryside, Philemon falls into a well on his father's farm and lands... in the Atlantic Ocean?! He begins a wild and whimsical journey through a fantasy world as original as Alice's Wonderland, as richly imagined as Little Nemo's Slumberland, and as exciting to explore as Oz.
For more of the Philemon Adventures...
“In a market teeming with graphic-fantasy tales, this offering is remarkably imaginative and refreshingly different…Not since Carroll's Alice has there been such a marvelous and incredible adventure.”
--KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW - click for full review
“Vivid, psychedelic colors make the illustrations pop and match the mood of the crazy world that he has created. Back matter includes notes about the various allusions made to other texts and artwork. Published for the first time in the United States, this work is a good additional purchase for those looking to build their graphic novel collections for middle graders."
--School Library Journal
“Halfway between the humorous near-realism of Tintin and the hallucinatory Little Nemo in Slumberland, the book will be very entertaining for kids.”
--ICv2 4 STAR REVIEW - click for full review
"Philemon was originally published in the 1960s in the same French magazine as Asterix, and now TOON is introducing the fantasy comic to an American audience...Fred’s small panels are densely packed with swirling lines, elaborate tableaux, and cartoonish figures, all in a rich, jewel-tone palette. Combining the line work of Hergé’s Tintin with Dr. Seuss’ wacky figure style, this offbeat adventure story should be a great fit for middle- grade comic-book fans."
“Fred’s story shares quite a bit in common with the Alice stories, involving as they do a young person finding an everyday thing is actually a portal to a crazy land of dream-logic and random adventure, before returning safely to the mundane world....It’s a great read but, beyond that, it’s of the sort one hopes finds an audience and does well, so that we get more of Fred’s Philemon translated and published here in the United States."
--School Library Journal, Good Comics for Kids
“This wild graphic novel adventure, which integrates Greek mythology references, offers food for thought and a feast for the eyes."
--Jenny Brown, Shelf Awareness
Awarded a 2013 Hemingway Translation Grant by the Book Department of the French Embassy in the United States
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
"I hope this series has a a long and happy run."
--The Comics Reporter - Read Tom Spurgeon's in-depth interview with Françoise Mouly HERE
"Beautifully-drawn to an almost unreal degree."
--The Comics Journal
"It’s definitely a tale for kids of all ages....The art work is fun, colorful, and fantastic."
--The Comics Alternative
"Philemon is my new favorite companion. He's brave, resourceful, and knows what to do when attacked by a lamp."
"A classic for absurdists of all ages!"
"Fantastic, smart, mind-expanding reading!"
"The best kind of comics: a boy, his talking donkey, nonstop escapades and funny drawings!
"As a teenager in Paris I grew up reading Fred's adventures of Philémon. He opened up a world which has not ceased to delight me ever since."
"A madcap tale you'll want to read again and again!"
TOON Graphic Special Features…Comics at their BEST!
The world of TOON Graphics and of comic book art is rich and varied. Making meaning out of reading with the aid of visuals may be the best way to become a lifelong reader, one who knows how to read for pleasure and for information—a reader who loves to read. Cast Away on the Letter A includes these special features to support both visual and verbal literacy:
Teacher Guide for Grades 4 & 5
Our Cast Away on the Letter A: A Philemon Adventure Teacher Guide outlines the ELA Common Core Standards to support standards-based instruction in the classroom using this TOON Graphic. The lesson plan offers detailed questions for students with page references. This free guide was designed by a team of passionate literacy experts led by Hsin-yu Chao.
About the Author
Frédéric Othon Aristidès (1931-2013), known as Fred, is one of France's most influential and revered cartoonists. When he was young, he loved to read Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and Oscar Wilde. In the sixties, Fred co-founded Hara-Kiri, the leading satirical publication of the May '68 movement--he designed its first 60 covers. Philémon, his story for young readers, was first published in Pilote in 1972 by René Goscinny, the author of the Astérix series. Philémon is Fred's most celebrated creation: millions of young French people have grown up with it, and it has inspired many of today's most talented cartoonists. The sixteenth and final volume of Philémon was released in 2013, before Fred's passing. Fred also got to see the beginnings of a Philémon movie, which is currently in the works. While there's no knowing where he found his inspiration, he said he often got his best ideas while taking a bath.