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Jonathan Swift's Gulliver Hardcover – August 1, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3 Up–Jenkins has done an admirable job of adapting a classic work of literature to make it more accessible to contemporary readers. The major events of Gulliver's travels are recounted here, but the language has been simplified and updated. The lengthier descriptive passages have been eliminated, as have some of the complex political discussions. The adaptation is not as dark as the original; for example, in this conclusion, Gulliver is not completely repulsed by his wife and family. Despite these changes, this retelling retains the essence of the original work, primarily due to the careful choice of details and scenes portrayed. The streamlined story remains a lively adventure filled with bizarre and entertaining characters. Swift's satirical humor and irony are still evident, as are his political and humanitarian messages. Ridell's energetic illustrations provide the perfect complement to the multidimensional story; black-and-white drawings and colorful line-and-wash paintings enliven almost every spread. Humorous details, vivid facial expressions, and exaggerated perspectives and proportions visually project the tale's sense of adventure. While there is no substitute for the original, this is a satisfying first visit to the lands of Gulliver's travels. Ann Keay Beneduce's Gulliver's Adventures in Lilliput (Putnam, 1996) includes just one of Gulliver's trips and contains none of the ironic humor found here. The version adapted by James Dunbar (DK, 2000) is not as well written or as visually appealing as this edition but is worthwhile for the background information it provides.–Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 5-8. Riddell, a British artist and Kate Greenaway medalist, gives Jonathan Swift's venerable classic a brand new look in this beautifully illustrated book. The text also gets an overhaul in Jenkins' nicely realized adaptation, which manages to retain the flavor of the original without the antique locutions and satirical references that may baffle the contemporary young readers. From its first publication, in 1726, Gulliver has been a bit schizophrenic--at once a savagely sophisticated satire and an extravagantly imagined adventure. This edition, with its lavish 11-by-9 1/2-inch trim size and witty, beautiful illustrations that spill across the gutter to fill a page-and-a-half, favors the latter. Even those who dislike adaptations of classics will find much to admire and enjoy here. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I highly recommend this abridgement of Gulliver's Travels. This book is the perfect opportunity to read aloud to children you've probably stopped reading to years ago (the 8-13 year old set). Simplifies, but does not back off the material in all its vicious, occasionally filthy glory, and believe me, preteens will delight in it more than bowdlerized versions. Everything important is preserved-- Gulliver's shocking misanthropy at the end, his comical unreliability as a narrator throughout, the graphic descriptions of the repulsive Yahoos. Dare I say, although I love the original text, I almost prefer the tightened up version of Part III, which is a bit of a kitchen sink in terms of targets of ridicule, and the section that a modern reader might find least sympathetic, given what science did end up achieving since Swift's time. This book is best read aloud because there are many points which open up discussions about human nature and the human condition. It gave my family many hours' worth of both entertainment and food for thought.
The text alone would be enough to highly recommend this book, but it also features beautiful, whimsical illustrations-- perhaps my favorites, supplanting Arthur Rackham's.
My soon to be six year old grandson will love this book. I consider it my job to make sure he keeps getting treasures like this one.
There are at least 6 pictures of buxom women, their breasts falling out of their dresses, and several pictures of weird-looking monster/people/animals that would give anyone nightmares.
There are also other scary, cartoonish pictures that make you think of devils and cackling, toothless old men.
Sorry, but these are my thoughts. I like the easy-reading part of the story, and the abundance of illustrations for the reader's sake, but...maybe another illustrator??
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