Illustrated by Vaggelis Theodoridis
A Very Bad Bad thing by John C. Yiannoudis
Book Description (from Author)
This is an illustrated children’s book, a fiction inspired by a true, almost unbelievable incident from Europe’s contemporary History.
Action begins in Hope, a small beautiful country right ‘on the edge of the earth’. Hope is famous for three things: the sweet watermelons, the clean blue seas and of course it’s King, the famous King George.
Suddenly, all countries around Hope begin to fight. One wants to eat the other’s watermelons. A watermelon war is on!
As the watermelon war approaches Hope, King George leaves country for the Island of Idle Mist. There he stays for years and years, waiting for the war to end.
This is a children’s book with a vey big difference. It is firstly a mythical tale about a small country that is involved in a war when the King of this country decides to go and stay in another country to avoid all the hassle, does this sound familiar? It might do, because this myth is built on a very real story in recent history.
The Second part of the story tells the real history of the king of Greece spending the Second World War in relative safety in Britain, then returning when the hostilities ended, and dying shortly thereafter.
The book is well written and captivating and the illustrations are detailed and a bit gruesome, which is always very attractive to children of a certain age.
The ethos behind the book, which is to make history more palatable, attractive and understandable for young people, certainly does the job. If history was taught like this it would never be boring again, and to enliven this subject would help children see from a young age the benefits of learning from what has gone before. For adults it might help us also to learn from what has gone before and stop us making the same mistakes over and over again.
I haven’t read a children’s history as good as this since ‘Tales of a Grandfather’ by Sir Walter Scott, which is a precious classic that I own. I do hope this writer intends to publish more of this type of children’s book.