Thursday, August 4, 2011
Review: Secrets, Monsters, & Magic Mirrors by Donald Lemke:
Release Date: August 1 2011
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Source: NetGalley and Capstone
Series: Stone Arch Fairytales
Five of the worlds greatest fairy tales are retold in the popular and attractive graphic novel format. Beautiful, bold illustrations give these timeless tales a modern edge. The stories include Beauty and the Beas, Rapunzel, Princess and the Pea, Snow White, and Thumbelina.
I really enjoyed these stories. Each fairytale is very unique either in its illustrations or in the retelling of the classic tale. There are five fairytales in this graphic novel and each has its own artistic style. They are very short and sweet and to the point. Though I think they could have made each story a bit longer, and not have the endings come up so quick; I did enjoy them and believe that the audience they are catering to will as well. I am going to comment on each of the five stories and rate them individually.
This is a great retelling of the classic Rapunzel. I loved the illustrations in this one. The characters kind of reminded me of dolls, and Rapunzel like a modern day Raggedy Ann. In this story she is a redhead, and is taken by the witch because her mother was super selfish. She wanted her husband to steal the witches rapunzel plants. Im not saying that I agree with the witch; because of course she is evil, locking this poor little girl away in a tower with no one to talk to. But her mother could have resisted and eaten something else. Also it might just be me but I would have fought for my child, and never have given her to the witch. She would have had to forcefully taken her from me. Back to the subject, this was a great, quick re-telling of the fairytale and this one actually ends good.Overall Rating: B+
This is a very cute retelling of Thumbelina. Though the illustrations are a little more childish, I did enjoy the story and the colors. The only thing that ever got me on the whole Thumbelina story in the first place, was why everyone wanted to force her to marry them. Was it because she was tiny and they didn't think she could put up a fight? I think Thumbelina is a very cute character and a lot stronger then everyone gives her credit for. Overall a very cute story, and this one ends good too.
Overall Rating: C
In this version of Snow White there are a few twists and turns from the Disney version many are used to. Not only does Snow White feel the evil Queens wrath, but the prince does as well. He actually gets the Queens wrath even before she finds out Snow White exists. I absolutely love the portrayal of the dwarfs in this book too. They are a little bit different then the ones we know and love, but they are very cute. Overall the story does mostly stay on the original Snow White path, and the differences don't take away from the love of the classic. I loved the illustrations as well. The ones in this story are more along the line of the graphic novels I am used to. Vivid colors and beautiful drawings. This one was my favorite of the five.
Overall Rating: A
Beauty and the Beast:
Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairytale of all time!!!! In this re-telling Beauty is the daughter of a rich merchant and she has two sisters who are more into the material world then she is. She has a kind heart, and cares for her family dearly. There are a few differences in this re-telling as well, but again it doesn't take away from the story we are used to. I really enjoyed this one too. The illustrations in this one look more like an animated show to me. Very unique. This was my second favorite of the five.
Overall Rating: B++
The Princess and the Pea:
This one was very cute. The illustrations were well drawn and vivid. I don't know this fairytale like I do the others so I am not sure if it kept to the classic version or not. I thought the storyline was well written and portrayed beautifully in the illustrations. The only thing I don't get from this story is how a person can feel a pea under so many mattresses. Overall very cute and it ends well.
Overall Rating: C+
Overall I really enjoyed this book, and the re-telling of these classic tales. They are very unique. I also loved that at the end of each tale there is the history of the fairytale. That was defiantly a treat to read. I would recommend this to anyone who loves the classic fairytales. I plan on getting myself a hard copy real soon.
Overall Combined Rating: B