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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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ps. I did end up buying a copy for myself. Had to. :-)
However, I will say, given that these are fairly, well, graphic, there are some stories that are currently too scary for our little 4 year old. Unfortunately we never know which one will get her, so this has become an afternoon book, rather than a bedtime book. As she gets older I anticipate this will change and the book will have a long life as her understanding grows. She loves it and requests it often.
With that having been said, I have to add that trying to read it on a Kindle was an abysmal experience. With the display blown up to a size that allowed me to see each cartoon panel, transitioning from panel to panel (where normally one would flip from page to page of a book) actually jumped from dialogue bubble to bubble and eliminated the graphics. In other words, the context of the dialogue was completely lost, and with no illustrations, there is no point to this being a book of cartoons.