The Smurf Apprentice by Peyo

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Title: The Smurf Apprentice by Peyo

Notable: Book #8 in The Smurfs Graphic Novels series

Premise:

The main story is about a Smurf who sees Papa Smurf’s awesome ability to make magical things happen with his laboratory concoctions, and wants to do magic himself.  Includes “The Apprentice Smurf,” “Smurf Traps” and “The Smurfs and the Mole.”

My thoughts:

In the first story, the unlucky Apprentice Smurf tries out some magic he stole from Gargamel, not knowing what he’s made, and ends up turning himself into a lizardy Smurf.  The poor guy goes back to Gargamel’s to try and find an antidote, but is captured.  Of course, the rest of the Smurfs come to the rescue and they figure out a way to return him to his former blue cuteness.  🙂

In “Smurf Traps” Gargamel actually uses his noodle to devise some traps that are irresistible to the Smurfs.  Brainy is targeted with a giant book, Jokey with a wrapped gift, and Greedy with an enormous cake.  Papa Smurf finds a way to rescue his little Smurfs and entices Gargamel into a trap of his own.

I recommend The Smurf Apprentice to Smurf fans everywhere!

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

And yes, I did take a picture of the book in a hole in our wall–courtesy of the previous occupants!

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The Purple Smurfs by Peyo

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Title: The Purple Smurfs by Peyo

Notable: Book #1 in The Smurfs Graphic Novels series

Premise:

This is the first book in the Smurfs Graphic Novels series.  The main story is about how the Smurfs turn “rabid” and purple when stung by a particular insect.  Papa Smurf discovers an antidote, but will he be able to keep it from spreading?  Includes: “The Purple Smurfs,” “The Flying Smurf,” and “The Smurf and His Neighbors.”

My thoughts:

Since I like to do things my own way, I read the first book in the series way, way out of order.  Honestly, it didn’t make a lick of difference.  The main story about the purple Smurfs is kind of strange.  It reminds me a little of Lord of the Flies, with Smurfs basically becoming violent social misfits and spreading their toxic ways to others.  Not a bad story line, but perhaps not what you’re expecting from cute little Smurfs.

The story about the Flying Smurf is really cute, too.  That poor guy goes to so much trouble to fly and when he finally does, it’s too much for him to handle.  This one strikes me as a classic Smurf story and it was my favorite in the book.

I recommend The Purple Smurfs to fans of the Smurfs.  Even though this is the first book in the series, it isn’t necessary to read them in order.  Be a rebel!

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Gargamel and the Smurfs by Peyo

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Title: Gargamel and the Smurfs by Peyo

Notable: Book #9 in The Smurfs Graphic Novels series

Premise:

A collection of four Smurfs stories featuring their archnemesis, Gargamel.  Includes: “The Smurfnapper,” “A Smurf Not Like the Others,” “The Smurfs and the Little Ghost,” and “Sagratamabarb.”

My thoughts:

I love the Smurf stories which feature Gargamel trying to take his revenge on the Smurfs.  He’s such a lowdown creature and his plots never work, but he keeps right on trying!

The last story in this book is particularly interesting.  Gargamel’s cousin, Sagratamabarb, comes to the village and tries to set up camp right next to Gargamel.  He too is a sorcerer, but he’s actually on good terms with the Smurfs.  Sagratamabarb was an intriguing character and I liked the warm relationship he had with the Smurfs.  I’d like to see more of him, but I don’t think that’s very likely.

I would have rated this book higher, except for one little roadblock.  In the last story Gargamel seeks help from the devil to overcome his cousin’s magic.  He’s shown sitting inside a pentagram with lit candles and actually invoking the devil’s power.  I’m not into my kids reading that, otherwise this would have been a 4-star review.

I recommend Gargamel and the Smurfs to fans of the Smurfs.

Possible Objections:

  • Gargamel invokes the devil’s aid and is shown sitting inside a pentagram with lit candles during the ritual

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

The Finance Smurf by Peyo

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Title: The Finance Smurf by Peyo

Notable: Book #18 in The Smurfs Graphic Novels series

Premise:

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.

My thoughts:

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…

Lori

The Wild Smurf by Peyo

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Title: The Wild Smurf by Peyo

Notable: Book #21 in The Smurfs Graphic Novels series

Premise:

When the Smurf village is devastated by fire and flood, they venture into the wild to replenish their food stores.  Unbeknownst to them, a wild Smurf follows them back to the village and their supplies begin to disappear.  When the thief is caught, Brainy Smurf makes it his mission to teach Wild Smurf how to become a contributing member of society.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed the plot of this Smurf story.  Though the Smurfs think that Wild Smurf is dangerous, they find out that he has actually been living with the squirrels his whole life and has a warm relationship with them.  When Brainy saves Wild Smurf and one of the squirrels from drowning, they win Wild Smurf’s trust and become friends.  Smurfette becomes smitten with Wild Smurf and his strong muscles!  Also, Gargamel gets pummeled by him, and it’s good to see a Smurf who can hold their own against Gargamel.

This book also contains a short comic featuring the Smurfs called “School for Fairies,” and a preview of another volume by Peyo, Pussycat.  It stars a cute little black cat and the shenanigans he gets up to.

I recommend The Wild Smurf to kids and all fans of the Smurfs.  Another fun one!

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Doctor Smurf by Peyo

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Title: Doctor Smurf by Peyo

Notable: Book #20 in The Smurfs Graphic Novels series

Premise:

When Papa Smurf is too busy in his laboratory to tend to the health needs of the rest of the Smurfs, one of them decides to take on the roll of Doctor himself.  The new Doctor Smurf prescribes whichever potions suit his fancy, writes sick notes for all of the Smurfs, and generally causes a complete breakdown of the Smurf way of life.  It’s up to Papa Smurf to put things to rights and take over again as the physician for the Smurf village.

My thoughts:

When I saw that the library had a line of these Smurf graphic novels, I was over the moon!  I never even knew that they existed!  In my bid to finish my reading challenge by the end of the year (which I’m not certain I’ll accomplish), I’m reading more graphic novels.  Kind of a cop-out, but a fun cop-out nonetheless.

This story is playful and lighthearted as you’d expect any Smurf story to be.  It doesn’t contain anything really profound, though it does make you think a bit about hypochondria and the over-prescription of medication.  I’m sure that would be lost on a child reading the story.  My one criticism is that I think the world “Smurf” is overused.  In the show they use it to mean any number of things, and I totally get that.  It’s part of what makes it so charming, but when the word is used so much that you have difficulty understanding parts of the story, that’s a sign that you might want to hold back on that next “smurf” you’re going to substitute.  Just my two cents.  Other than that, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more Smurf graphic novels.

I recommend Doctor Smurf to kids and adults alike who are fans of the Smurfs.

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori