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Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists Hardcover – September 24, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up–Nineteen cartoonists re-envision the world of “once upon a time” in this collection of 17 fairy tales. Stories are chiefly from Grimm and other European sources, but a few represent Middle Eastern, Asian, and American lore. The rich potpourri of interpretations presented in various mediums, styles, and settings makes the anthology unique. Some stories remain true to conventional retellings, while other adaptations have a decidedly fanciful aspect. Readers will note marked differences in the approaches to the Grimm tales. For example, Emily Carroll dresses her “12 Dancing Princesses” in elegant renaissance gowns while the wicked stepmother in Jaime Hernandez's “Snow White” has a futuristically styled gown and headdress. Graham Annable's wordless “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” illustrates the effectiveness of images in nuanced storytelling. “The Prince and the Tortoise” echoes the classic realistic scenes of Prince Valiant, while subdued monochromatic colors and simple drawings of the Japanese “The Boy Who Drew Cats” complement the tale's Asian origins. Several artists inject playful humor: Puss in Boots motors around on a Vespa scooter while the King and Queen travel in a pickup truck bed. The “Bremen Town” setting is the Wild West with outlaws stating, “We ain't goin' near no haunted house.” While many traditional stories feature young maidens as beautiful brides, Raina Telgemeier's contemporary “Rapunzel” finds her own version of happily-ever-after when she realizes that “I've got the whole world to explore.” These adaptations are sure to enchant devotees of comics and those who like a fresh and distinctive approach to fairy tales.–Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* To follow up the winning Nursery Rhyme Comics (2011), First Second offers this similarly spectacular idea. Once again gathering a coterie of grand artistic talent from kids’ and indie comics (many returning from NRC), this collection features 17 stories longer than those in the previous project, which gives each work more room to delight. Many classics appear, from “Snow White” to “Goldilocks” to “Hansel and Gretel,” but an effort has been made to turn up a few more obscure fables, and the balance between familiarity and novelty proves just right. The artists all bring their A-game to produce standouts like Emily Carroll’s wondrously textured “12 Dancing Princesses,” Luke Pearson’s mystical and eerie “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” Joseph Lambert’s rousing and hilarious “Rabbit Will Not Help,” and David Mazzucchelli’s stark-lined and graceful “Give Me the Shudders” (his first comics work since Asterios Polyp, 2009). But every artist here knows how to turn in an elegant, flowing story, and every tale is pitch-perfect for young readers and intimate read-alouds. Overall, the book is an ideal choice for a child’s first comics experience and a new way to enjoy old favorites. Preschool-Grade 2. --Jesse Karp
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Top Customer Reviews
One look at the contents of this told me that while I consider myself to be well acquainted with a lot of fairy tales, some of those included here were entirely new and previously unheard of. Even the widely known and loved stories like Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood had a teeny tiny twist that I much enjoyed.
Then came the illustrations. Oh those illustrations! In a span of about 120 pages or so, I was exposed to such varied styles of cartooning with the vivid use colors and fantastic story telling. Sometimes when one story ended and the other one began, the sudden transition in the style jolted me a little. It was as though I was landing on a different planet each time. An absolutely great way to introduce a newbie to various forms of illustrations too. The book is a visual treat!
If I had to pick favorites among these seventeen fairy tales then I would go for Little Red Riding Hood by Gigi D.G and The Boy Who Drew Cats by Luke Pearson. The illustrators list reads like a Who’s Who in the world of graphic novels and comics. Seeing Craig Thompson’s illustrations right next to Raina Telgemeier’s wonderful retelling of Rapunzel is something you wouldn’t want to miss.
FirstSecond has gathered together 17 of the best artists in the world to put their own unique twists on these classic tales. And these aren't all tales that you've heard of. Sure there's Snow White and Rapunzel, but have you read "The Boy Who Drew Cats" from Japan before? Or "The Prince and The Tortoise" from 1001 nights? I'm betting that there's at least one new tale in this book for everyone. One thing to note is that the artists have toned down some of the original horror and frightening elements that some readers might be familiar with from the original Brother Grimm tales. So if you're familiar with the originals you might find this disappointing, but you might want to keep in mind that this is an all ages book. I however, still found the stories to be quite enjoyable.
The talent in this book include Jamie Hernandez, David Mazzucchelli, Craig Thompson, Raina Telgemeir, and more. Each artists takes the text of a classic fairy tale and adds their own unique spin to it. My favorite has to be Raina's take on "Rapunzel." In Raina's version the story begins with Rapunzel's mother being pregnant and getting cravings for...the Rapunzel planet. Even though her husband has brought her cornichons, stinky cheese, and marshmallow fluff. It's just such a great little twist to the tale. And the art styles in this book are fantastic! Such a wide range of mediums ranging from computer drawn to charcoal to pastels, each works well with the story chosen.
Each story has something for everyone with the artists bringing their own unique talents and styles to these tales. All of them are absolutely fantastic. This is the perfect book for any age and is sure to put a smile on everyone's face. I highly recommend this book as a great addition to any shelf. 4 out 5 stars
ARC provided by Gina at FirstSecond