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Title: The Finance Smurf by Peyo
Notable: Book #18 in The Smurfs Graphic Novels series
When one of the Smurfs accompanies Oliver to town, he is introduced to the concept of money and wants to institute its use in the Smurf village. While Papa Smurf is in bed recovering from an injury, Finance Smurf begins a whole system of finance which leaves some Smurfs poor and others with more money than they know what to do with. Eventually the Smurfs become so fed up with the system that they decide to leave and start their own village, where they can go back to the old way of doing things–without money. Finance Smurf relents and asks the Smurfs to come back to the village.
Honestly, when I started this one I didn’t have very high hopes for it. How could a story about money and Smurfs be interesting? It was very nicely done, though, with Peyo making a subtle commentary on the pitfalls of using a monetary system to meet all of our needs.
This story isn’t as lighthearted as most of the others. There are Smurfs who are worried and upset about their lack of money and the predatory financial practices used by Finance Smurf. There are Smurfs who go hungry, and the whole village becomes less kindhearted and giving, because now they’re always looking at the bottom line.
I really enjoyed this story, not only because of the adorable little Smurfs, but because of the way that it examined our use of money and how the system favors some and makes living nearly impossible for others. Boy, that’s a timely subject right now!
I recommend The Finance Smurf to older kids and adult fans of the Smurfs. Because of the story’s focus on money, I think it would go over the heads of younger kids.
Rating: 4 Stars
Until next time…