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The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth Paperback – September 30, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—With its gruesome murders, Macbeth might not seem the most obvious of Shakespeare's plays to be adapted into a children's graphic novel, but by placing the play as a story within a story, Lender and Giallongo make it work. The animals of Stratford Zoo are putting on a show— specifically Macbeth—starring the lion as the play's titular hero and featuring a hyena and a cast of other animals to fill out the ranks. A sanitized version of the drama is told while the animal audience makes quips, provides commentary, and hides from the zookeeper. Naturally, a child-friendly, zoo animal-filled version of the tragic play wanders a great deal from the original. The additions and changes (such as Macbeth eating the king with copious amounts of ketchup) serve to make the tale and the entire graphic novel a comic affair that will appeal to younger readers. All of the violence is offstage and only hinted at, not depicted, in keeping with the younger audience envisioned for this book. The artwork is bright and cartoonish, with an appealing mix of panel sizes to keep the story moving, emphasize key points, and allow for amusing little details for readers to find. Perhaps the greatest missed opportunity is that only a few times do the animal thespians use lines from the original Shakespeare and these times are not marked as such. Other than that flaw, here is a delightful introduction to the Bard's work that won't overwhelm young readers.—Elizabeth Nicolai, Anchorage Public Library, AK --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“. . . a wonderfully accessible, engaging, and kid-friendly adaptation of the Shakespeare classic.” ―Booklist
“. . . a comic affair that will appeal to younger readers.” ―School Library Journal
“*As the zookeeper locks the gates to the Stratford Zoo, the animals are just beginning to set up for their evening performance of Macbeth . . . Those too young to appreciate the original play will certainly grasp this cleverly anthropomorphized, lushly envisioned graphic romp.” ―Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
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Designed for the middle grades, Macbeth is the first book in this graphic novel series. A group of animals puts on plays for an animal audience at their zoo. Their first production is MacBeth. This child-friendly retelling includes the basic structure of the play along with hilarious comments from the audience during the performance. Although the most famous lines are evident, the play is shortened to focus on just the key elements.
Librarians will find this series to be a wonderful way to introduce Shakespeare’s greatest works. Consider building literature circles that focus on each of Shakespeare’s key works.
To learn more about Ian Lendler, go to http://ianlendler.com/.
To learn more about Zack Giallongo, go to http://zackgiallongo.com/.
Published by FirstSecond, an imprint of Macmillan.
Most recent customer reviews
Ella, age: 11, AUSTRALIA