Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fable Comics + The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet

Fable Comics Edited by Chris Duffy

Review by Lauren

Source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: From classics like "The Tortoise and the Hare" and "The Grasshopper and the Ants" to obscure gems like "The Frogs Who Desired a King," Fable Comics has something to offer every reader. Twenty-eight fables from different cultures and traditions are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by twenty-six different cartoonists. Edited by New York Times bestselling Fairy Tale Comics' Chris Duffy, this jacketed hardcover is a beautiful gift and an instant classic.

Review: I really like these collections, though I've only read Fairy Tale Comics before this. You can also check out Nursery Rhyme Comics. This book is full of comics from 26 different artists. Because of this, each fable in the book has a really different look. For those that aren't aware, a fable is a story (usually featuring animals, but not always) that leaves the reader with a message or something to learn. Some of the fables flat out tell you what you should take away (with a bit of humor) but not all of them do this. I like the mix; each artist does something a bit different!

page from the book - source
Most of these fables are from Aesop, but not all of them. We get a mix of stories from different countries too, which is always nice. I really liked the fable "Leopard Drums Up Dinner" by Sophie Goldstein which is just really funny! The artwork is bright and fun, with a lot of yellow, green, and orange colors.

"The Hare and the Tortoise" by Graham Annable was also well done. All of these fables, even the ones you know well like this story, are changed by the artist and I really liked how Annable did this one!

While I liked many of the stories throughout, some I have to admit, I didn't quite get. Maybe you'll have better luck with stories like "The Dog and His Reflection" by Graham Chaffee than I did!

Great collection overall though!

The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents: Romeo and Juliet by Ian Lendler and Zack Giallongo

Review by Lauren

Source: copy sent for review; 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.

Review: The Stratford Zoo did Macbeth already and now they are back with Romeo and Juliet. I really love that the author and illustrator of this book change up the classic stories to suit animals as well as a younger audience. For example, Romeo and Juliet is full of death and young couples secretly getting married and having sex. This is changed quite a bit in this graphic novel. For example, Romeo (a rooster) and Juliet (a bear) want to have play dates and not actual dates or weddings. As for the fighting, it is included and some of the characters do die, but nothing is really shown and it's not that violent.

I also really love that this book includes audience commentary throughout, so you get a bit of a story within a story. There are discussions and moments happening while the play is being performed and these are shared when appropriate. It's great and quite clever, helping to tie in some of the messages of the play with real-life scenarios.

I would definitely recommend these if you want to share Shakespeare with your younger children! 


Kindlemom said...

These both sound and look great!

Melliane said...

I should try more stories like that, it looks really nice

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

I think The Stratford Zoo Presents Romeo and Juliet sounds up my alley- I love Shakespeare and it would be a good way to introduce it to my youngest niece. :)

Erika Sorocco said...

Both of these are adorable - I am so in love with the illustrations!


Brandi Kosiner said...

Sounds interesting and cute.

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

These look like they would be great for younger readers. I will have to remember these for Risa in a couple of years.

Cleo Bannister said...

You always manage to find the most unusual and appealing of books Lauren - this sounds wonderful, I need to find a child to give it to.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

The Stratford Zoo sounds adorable!

The Bibliophile Babe said...

They look adorable!

Jennifer Humphries said...

How great is that Romeo and Juliet book! Thank you for sharing that one with us. My oldest is reading it for school and the younger wants to read it, but... This version you shared sounds just right!

Claudia Arroyo said...

My little girls are so absorbed in comics right now; particularly, Yotsubato! :) Fable Comics looks like something I know they will enjoy. Thanks for sharing this one!