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Title: The Smurf Menace by Peyo
Notable: Book #22 in The Smurfs Graphic Novels series
When the Smurfs start to argue and bicker, Papa Smurf cooks up some magic to help them learn a lesson about what they will become if they continue their unkind behavior. His magic works a little too well, however, and the Smurfs suffer hardships at the hands of their doppelgängers, before they’re able to reverse the spell.
I enjoyed this book, but holy cow, it is way out there in terms of its subject matter! Smurfs locked up in a prison camp? Check. A Smurf getting whipped? Check. Lots of Smurf on Smurf violence? Check, again! I wasn’t quite prepared for the serious road that this story was going down.
The gist of the story is that we get to see the worst Smurf behavior–what would happen to the kindly Smurfs if they let their unkind impulses take over. Basically, they behave like bad people–physically hurting others, taking what isn’t theirs, trying to dominate others, even going so far as to threaten to kill the others (though thankfully they are not successful). This really is a mature story and I feel it’s too grown-up for kids (preteen and up would probably be okay). I still feel like I’m mentally processing it. How do you deal with it when some of your favorite, innocent characters are caught up in an adult situation? My brain is having a hard time accepting it.
I recommend The Smurf Menace to older children and adult fans of the Smurfs. I think the subject matter is too mature for younger kids.
- A fair bit of violence
- Smurfs imprisoned in a work camp
- One Smurf is whipped (not graphic & it hits his behind)
Rating: 4 Stars
Until next time…