The Great Antonio: Toon Level 2 (Hardcover)

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The Great Antonio: Toon Level 2 Cover Image
By Elise Gravel (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

This is an early reader biography in graphic novel form and written as a tall tale. It tells the life story of colorful Montreal strongman Antonio Barichievich, stress on story part—many of the stories that circulated from and about Antonio are crazy, though just as crazy were some of his well-documented feats… The retellings are framed by speculations on how such a man could have come to be. The artwork relishes in the hairy Canadian, and a reoccurring cat is fun to spot throughout. What really makes it special, though, is how much heart it packs in—both from Antonio, and the clear affection from Gravel for her subject. (Ages 5-8)

— From Ann's Picks


What made the Great Antonio so great? He weighed as much as a horse He once wrestled a bear. He could devour twenty-five roasted chickens at one sitting. In this whimsical book, beloved author and illustrator Elise Gravel tells the true story of Antonio Barichievich, the larger-than-life Montreal strongman who had muscles as big as his heart.

About the Author

In kindergarten Elise was popular because she could draw princesses with long, spiral curls. Then in high school, girls asked her to draw their dream guys, and she became very talented at drawing muscles and chest hair, which came in handy for this book. One of Elise's favorite authors is Roald Dahl. He got her interested in unusual people and animals--anyone who is strange, different, or funny. In her hometown of Montreal, everyone knew and loved the great Antonio, the gentle giant who lived outside the donut shop. He claimed to have been one of the strongest men in the world and to be able to talk to aliens with his braids. After his death, it was revealed that many of Antonio's wild stories were true: he had a letter from President Bill Clinton and photos of himself with celebrities like Liza Minnelli, Sophia Loren, and Johnny Carson.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781943145089
ISBN-10: 1943145083
Publisher: Toon Books
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Pages: 64
Language: English