The Strongest Man in the World

The Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr

By Annie Murray

A review of The Strongest Man In The World: Louis Cyr by Nicolas Debon

Published on October 1, 2007

The Strongest Man In The World: Louis Cyr
Nicolas Debon

Groundwood
$17.95
cloth
978-0-88899-731-9

Author and illustrator Nicolas Debon certainly chose an excellent subject for his picture book, The Strongest Man in the World. Louis Cyr, a real-life Quebec superhero, was famous in North America and Europe for his ability to life extremely heavy objects. The story of his life is well suited to the graphic novel style employed here. On his final night as a star performer, the ageing Cyr tells his daughter Émiliana about his youth, the family members who inspired him, and how he eventually founded his own circus.

Debon’s text and images provide wonderful detail to convey Cyr’s impressive strength and vitality: Cyr resists the pull of four horses, each weighing over a ton, lifts fearsomely large boulders in weightlifting competitions, and gleefully eats what appears to be an entire roast pig. The drawings have a great old-time feel to them, recreating a time of small town, travelling circuses, and astonishing feats.

For ages 7-12. mRb

Annie Murray is a Montreal librarian.

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