PARDALITA

Quietly resonant and sincerely told.

In this introspective graphic novel translated from Portuguese, a girl reflects on her changing sense of self.

In loosely interconnected vignettes, award-winning author/illustrator Estrela introduces readers to 16-year-old Raquel. Her life thus far has been fairly uneventful: She lives in small-town Portugal with her divorced mom; hangs out with her two best friends, Luísa and Fred; and has a new boyfriend, Miguel. But changes are underway. At school, Raquel notices Pardalita, a colorful and artistic older girl, and becomes increasingly intrigued by her. As her interest in Pardalita grows, she ignores texts from Miguel, who eventually breaks up with her, to Raquel’s relief: “I switched to airplane mode / but it feels like I’ve landed.” Fred and Raquel join the local theater troupe that Pardalita is involved with, allowing the two girls to develop a friendship. As Raquel moves beyond projected daydreams about her object of affection, she’s fascinated by every little thing about the real Pardalita, a girl who, when she pulls her hair back, “pats the top of her head twice to make sure she’s picked up every strand.” Raquel recalls moments when there were hints about her emerging sexuality that now take on new meaning. The digitally created black-and-white art is bold and slightly abstract, matching the stream-of-consciousness text that effectively conveys adolescent turmoil, the heady intoxication of first love, and sweet moments of connection as young queer love blossoms. The book’s strength lies in its careful presentation of telling details.

Quietly resonant and sincerely told. (endnotes) (Graphic fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 18, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-64614-255-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Levine Querido

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

MACBETH

From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced...

A pairing of the text of the Scottish Play with a filmed performance, designed with the Shakespeare novice in mind.

The left side of the screen of this enhanced e-book contains a full version of Macbeth, while the right side includes a performance of the dialogue shown (approximately 20 lines’ worth per page). This granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play, which is rich in irony, hidden intentions and sudden shifts in emotional temperature. The set and costuming are deliberately simple: The background is white, and Macbeth’s “armor” is a leather jacket. But nobody’s dumbing down their performances. Francesca Faridany is particularly good as a tightly coiled Lady Macbeth; Raphael Nash-Thompson gives his roles as the drunken porter and a witch a garrulousness that carries an entertainingly sinister edge. The presentation is not without its hiccups. Matching the video on the right with the text on the left means routinely cutting off dramatic moments; at one point, users have to swipe to see and read the second half of a scene’s closing couplet—presumably an easy fix. A “tap to translate” button on each page puts the text into plain English, but the pop-up text covers up Shakespeare’s original, denying any attempts at comparison; moreover, the translation mainly redefines more obscure words, suggesting that smaller pop-ups for individual terms might be more meaningful.

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students . (Enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: The New Book Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

THE ODYSSEY

Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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