Friday, September 12, 2014

The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth


The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Ian Lendler and Zack Giallongo

Review by Lauren

Source: review copy; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: The Stratford Zoo looks like a normal zoo... until the gates shut at night. That's when the animals come out of their cages to stage elaborate performances of Shakespeare's greatest works. They might not be the most accomplished thespians, but they've got what counts: heart. Also fangs, feathers, scales, and tails, in The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.

Review:  This is such a fun graphic novel! I know I didn't start reading Shakespeare until I was in high school, so this is a fun way to introduce a younger crowd to the Bard's work, though definitely in a different format. Not only is this book a graphic novel, but the play is being performed within its pages by a group of animals at the zoo. Every night, when all the humans have gone home, the animals gather together to act out Shakespeare. This book is all about Macbeth, of course, though the book hints that Romeo and Juliet will be next.


If you know the play Macbeth, you're probably aware that it's a bit dark and bloody. However, this book makes it more kid friendly by including animals as the performers. For example, Lady Macbeth becomes obsessed with the spot after the king is killed (or eaten, in this case) but instead of being all about the blood  (though she does have blood on her hand at first), it becomes a bit more comedic since Lady Macbeth is a leopard, and therefore, covered in spots.

There is another aspect of the book that I was unsure how they would cover in a kid-friendly adaptation, bu they did a great job. If you know the play, you might remember the whole "not born from a mother" line the witches give Macbeth. If not, you'll learn what I mean when you read this graphic novel.

I would suggest this graphic novel for a slightly older child, as amazon states it's good for grades 2-5 and it would definitely be more interesting for someone who can read on their own.


11 comments:

Tracy Terry said...

Such a fun way to introduce Shakespeare. Put off by Julius Caesar at 14 it took many years to be convinced to give the Bard another look and even now I'm not keen.

Tracy Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kindlemom said...

This really is a fun way to be introduced to the Bard and probably an easier way as well than trying to just dive right into his work.

Andrea Thompson said...

Okay, this is a really neat idea. So glad you enjoyed!

Melliane said...

I'm ashamed to say that but I've never read Shakespeare lol. In France we don't have these books to read or at last I didn't. But the book looks nice!

Tanja - Tanychy said...

This is so amazing! I love it how they interpreted Brad's work so it's appropriate for younger readers and all that with illustrations. What's not to love about that? So happy you enjoyed this. Great review :)

Aylee said...

haha what a fun concept!! I remember I had something similar when I was younger - Shakespeare stories retold for a younger age group - but mine didn't have animal characters from the zoo, which would absolutely have been an added bonus in my eyes. You're right, it's a great way to introduce young people to the great works of Shakespeare!

Brandi Kosiner said...

Does sound fun, and neat concept

Lauren D. said...

This sounds so fun and I love the idea of subbing animals in for darker material. Glad you enjoyed this!

Cleo Bannister said...

That sounds absolutely brilliant- you do find some great sounding books :-)

kimbacaffeinate said...

Oh what a brilly idea and the illustrations are awesome. I love that it introduces children to Shakespeare.