TRICKSTER

NATIVE AMERICAN TALES: A GRAPHIC COLLECTION

Vigorously rendered in striking graphic format, this robust anthology of 21 Native American folktales features a bevy of wily rascals in a veritable smorgasbord of trickster tales. Told in the words of Native American storytellers from many nations, these tales use the trickster to teach moral lessons and explain such natural events as how the rabbit got its puffy tail, why the buzzard has no feathers on its head, why the owl guards burial sites or why geese fly in a V formation. Relying on cunning and craft to survive, outwit and amuse, the tricksters include coyote, raven, rabbit, raccoon, wolf, beaver and dog as well as human tricksters like Moshup, Ishjinki and Waynaboozhoo. Each tale is illustrated by a different artist in strikingly different styles, some comic and some realistic but all surprisingly suited to their stories, while the graphic sequencing provides action and emotional detail only suggested by the storyteller. Packaged in a chunky, square-shaped volume, this unique collection of Native American folklore invites readers to sample and savor each colorful, wily tale. (editor’s notes, contributors’ bios) (Graphic folklore. 10 & up)

Pub Date: June 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55591-724-1

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Fulcrum

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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

MACBETH

From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

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. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

Of late, there have been many unsuccessful attempts to adapt Shakespeare into the graphic-novel format; Hinds’s beautiful new offering now sets the standard that all others will strive to meet. Presenting readers with deftly drawn characters (based on live models) and easily read dialogue that modulates over the course of the work from adapted prose to the original Shakespeare, he re-works the classic Shakespeare play of deception, greed and revenge. Though located in a modern setting, readers will easily follow the premise and find themselves lost in the intricately lovely Venetian backdrop. While this adaptation may leave purists sniffing at the omission of entire scenes and characters, Hinds carefully explains to his readers in a note why and how he made those choices. A deceptively simple graphic novel on the surface, this volume begs for multiple readings on a closer level, at the same time acting as a wonderful introduction to the original. Easily on a par with his stellar adaptation of Beowulf (2007), it’s a captivating, smartly executed work. (Graphic novel. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3024-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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