Ever wonder what zoo animals do at night? Why, they perform Shakespeare, of course!
As the zookeeper locks the gate to the Stratford Zoo, the animals are just beginning to set up for their evening performance of Macbeth. The characters are all present and accounted for: a hungry, ketchup-loving lion Macbeth, who discovers an insatiable new taste for power; a trusting and bumbling owl Duncan; a leopard Lady Macbeth, who realizes in a fury that she has indelible spots; and a stork—who was delivered by another of his own kind, not born to a mother—as MacDuff. This innovative and intelligent reimagining hits all the notes of the Bard’s famous play yet manages to put enough of a spin on it to keep it fresh and novel. (Though it makes a few age-appropriate changes, like changing a key word in Lady Macbeth’s famous monologue to “dumb.”) Those too young to appreciate the original play will certainly grasp this cleverly anthropomorphized, lushly envisioned graphic romp, not realizing how effectively they are being set up for the original later on. As the menagerie’s nighttime performance ends and another day begins, the rest of the animals await the next play: Romeo and Juliet; let’s hope that readers will be privy to that performance as well.
Encore, please! (Graphic fantasy. 8-12)