From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Originally published in 1991 as part of a short-lived revival of the Classics Illustrated
line, this adaptation of Sinclair's muckraking socialist novel succeeds because of its powerful images. When Kuper initially drew it, he was already a well-known left-wing comics artist. His unenviable task is condensing a 400-page novel into a mere 48 pages, and, inevitably, much of the narrative drama is lost. Kuper replaces it, however, with unmatched pictorial drama. The story follows Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkis and his family as they are eaten up and spit out by capitalism (represented by Chicago's packing houses). Kuper uses an innovative full-color stencil technique with the immediacy of graffiti to give Sinclair's story new life. When Jurgis is jailed for beating the rich rapist Connor, a series of panels suffused with a dull, red glow draw readers closer and closer to Jurgis's face, until they see that the glint in his eye is fire. Jurgis, briefly prosperous as a strong-arm man for the Democratic machine, smokes a cigar; the smoke forms an image of his dead son and evicted family. Perhaps most visually dazzling is the cubist riot as strikers battle police amid escaping cattle. Kuper infuses this 1906 novel with the energy of 1980s-era street art and with his own profoundly original graphic innovation, making it a classic in its own right.
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This retelling opens with Mowgli showcasing his jungle skills as taught to him by Baloo and Bagheera. Vibrant digital vignettes display Mowgli not only surviving but thriving in a wild setting. Moving on to Mowgli's backstory, readers are introduced to villain Shere Khan. Through the tiger's dialogue, readers learn that Mowgli was abandoned in the forest by his parents, and can safely assume that Shere Khan means to harm him-though it is merely evidenced by the way the tiger roars his claims to the child and not explicitly stated in text. Fortunately, Mother and Father Wolf leap to Mowgli's defense and offer him love and protection as adoptive parents. As a young boy, Mowgli is safe and happy in his jungle home, but as he grows, the animals who vowed to protect him age and younger animals rise up to take leadership of the pack. The younger animals are vulnerable to Shere Khan's bad intentions, which puts Mowgli in a position where he must prove himself at a special pack meeting. This retelling is a great beginner version for young listeners as the lush beauty and exciting activities one can enjoy only in the wild are highlighted over the more mature elements of the story, such as abandonment and Shere Khan's plans to kill the child. The dynamic digital cartoon artwork supports this by depicting the jungle animals with large, expressive eyes and soft lines that take the bite out of fearsome features like claws and sharp teeth. VERDICT A solid addition to most library collections.-Samantha Lumetta, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.