The General by Janet Charters

The General

Written by Janet Charters
Illustrated by Michael Foreman

5+ readers   3+ readers   
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As relevant as when it was first published, Michael Foreman’s very first book is beautifully reissued in this edition. General Jodpur loves to train his soldiers making them the best fighting force in the world. But, one day, he discovers the beauty of the countryside and realises that saving the flowers and trees and creatures who live in them is more important than fighting. An important message delivered in striking pictures.

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The General by Janet Charters

There was once a general who fell off a horse, only to discover the beauty of flowers and nature. From that day on he vowed to change the world around him into one of peace and beauty. The original artwork is beautifully restored, bringing this well-loved, humorous story to a completely new generation.


A splendid 50th anniversary edition, this feels as pertinent now as it did when it was originally published * The Bookseller * This timeless picturebook, first published 50 years ago, is the story of a general who wants to be famous and keeps his troops well disciplined. Then one day he falls in love with nature and can't bear the thought of armies trampling flowers. He disbands his army, and sends his men to cultivate the land and make their country the most beautiful in the world. This brings him the fame he desires and makes him happy. ( And the Most famous General in the World lay back among the flowers and smiled at the sun. ) This fine new edition is both a work of art and a period piece. Michael Foreman's illustrations lie somewhere between Ronald Searle and John Piper, and his ranks of soldiers and aerial views of cities are resolved into abstract patterns that now seem of their time. It is also a book with a valuable message worth any child taking to heart. -- Nicolette Jones * The Sunday Times * Michael Foreman's illustrations for Janet Charters

. -- Nicholas Tucker * The Independent on Sunday, Arts & Books Easter Special * Janet Charter's anti-war text is as ironically apposite today as it was in 1961 when US involvement in the Vietnam War was escalating...As Foreman's first picture book, The General is incredibly assured, His trademark dexterity with watercolour was is consummate in his glowingly luminous depiction of the general's medal studded uniform and in his depiction of the ploughed field where a former soldier sows seed for the next harvest. Also characteristic are his confidently humorous characterisations of generals and troops. His mosaic city map reminiscent of Paolozzi and his stylised flowers are very 60s and now full of retro charm. A handsomely produced 50th anniversary edition that is a real treat! * Books for Keeps No.181 * Illustrations and text complement one another so beautifully that the magic of the original still shines through even after half a century. * Booktrust children's Books * ...He's best known for his children's work, characterised by impeccable draughtsmanship, subtle wit, powerful atmosphere and a wonderful luminosity that seems to rise up from the page... * The Herald * Without repetition, few contemporary illustrators have produced and published such a rich mix of titles, with images that truly engage, enchant and edify their readers with such distinguished consistency . -- Mike and Theresa Simkin. * Carousel * the revelations about embracing life over war are obviously going to connect in 21st century America and the ending, with its subtle point in a Cold War direction is just icing on the cake . * Eclectica Magazine (online) * Glorious, wonderful watercolours from MF clearly show why this book was chosen to be reissued as a 50th anniversary edition . * For immediate release reviews blog. *

About the Author

Janet Charters (now Janet Abis) was born in England in 1938, on the eve of the Second World War. She studied at St. Martin's School of Art, where she met fellow student Michael Foreman. She continues to paint and exhibits regularly. Michael Foreman became a full-time art student at the age of fifteen. In addition to creating his own prize-winning picture books, Michael has illustrated the work of many famous writers, including Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and Shakespeare.

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Book Info


48 pages


Janet Charters
More books by Janet Charters


Templar Publishing

Publication date

1st September 2013




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