An exceptional road taken.

READ REVIEW

SKIP

Forsaken and left to confront their doubts and dreads, a brave young child and a buoyant creature fall through vibrant, extraordinary new worlds in Mendoza’s (contributor: The Real Folk Blues, 2019, etc.) kaleidoscopic ode to metamorphosis.

Bloom awakens from a deep sleep. It’s another day with Bee, checking on the potatoes, fishing on the lake, and pondering the city from a safe distance. The crackling radio disrupts their night by the fire. A plea fills the air, and before Bloom’s ready, Bee heads out to answer it. Left alone to “watch the lake,” Bloom fills the days with routines until Bee’s extended absence moves Bloom to leap into the lake. Transported in a swirl of colors, Bloom reemerges in another world and meets an exiled creature named Gloopy, whose half-hearted, distracted assistance during the Moon Harvest preparations results in catastrophe. Together, Bloom and Gloopy slip into a different place, kicking off a multiworld voyage back to their respective homes. From the first spread to the last image, Mendoza’s gorgeous, surrealist artwork presents imaginative depths both refreshing and disorienting. Poignant catharsis surfaces through tearful declarations and emotional strife as Bloom and Gloopy reflect on their strengths and weaknesses amid unusual environments (imagine playing games with a giant lizard or discussing creative ambition with a wistful AI–like being). Both Bloom and Bee are brown skinned, and the author uses “they/them” pronouns throughout.

An exceptional road taken. (Graphic dystopia. 12-adult)

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-910620-42-7

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Nobrow Ltd.

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times...

ROMEO AND JULIET

From the Campfire Classics series

A bland, uninspired graphic adaptation of the Bard’s renowned love story.

Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times oddly psychedelic-tinged backgrounds of cool blues and purples, the mood is strange, and the overall ambiance of the story markedly absent. Appealing to what could only be a high-interest/low–reading level audience, McDonald falls short of the mark. He explains a scene in an open-air tavern with a footnote—“a place where people gather to drink”—but he declines to offer definitions for more difficult words, such as “dirges.” While the adaptation does follow the foundation of the play, the contemporary language offers nothing; cringeworthy lines include Benvolio saying to Romeo at the party where he first meets Juliet, “Let’s go. It’s best to leave now, while the party’s in full swing.” Nagar’s faces swirl between dishwater and grotesque, adding another layer of lost passion in a story that should boil with romantic intensity. Each page number is enclosed in a little red heart; while the object of this little nuance is obvious, it’s also unpleasantly saccharine. Notes after the story include such edifying tidbits about Taylor Swift and “ ‘Wow’ dialogs from the play” (which culls out the famous quotes).

Pub Date: May 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-93-80028-58-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more