Anton and the Battle by Ole Könnecke

Boys will be boys, and this comes across oh-so-clearly in Anton and the Battle, a humorous book about two friends, Anton and Luke, who try to one-up each other with outrageous boasts and somewhat unconventional battle scenes — all in good fun, of course, since they are just play-fighting and exercising their vivid imaginations.

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Just as things come to a head, however, the appearance of an unexpected visitor throws both boys off their game, causing them to drop their bravado and run off to safety together.

Originally published in German, the author uses different colours for the book’s lively illustrations to show the elements that are purely imaginary (blue for Anton’s, and red for Luke’s). So, even when the boys blurt out eye-popping lines like, “I’ll drop a bomb THIS BIG on your head!” and “Don’t care! My bomb’s bigger! I’m stronger!” the funny illustrations make it clear that they are not being serious, just goofing around.

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