It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.
In behalf of the GatheringBooks ladies, allow me to greet one and all a Happy Lunar New Year!
Here’s hoping that the Year of the Fire Monkey bring you peace, love, and happiness. Enjoy the holidays!
Last Week’s Review and Miscellany Posts
These two books consist of collections of fairy tales told in a graphic novel format. While we did feature something similar when we had our Fractured Fairytale theme a few years ago as seen below:
Rapunzel’s Revenge, on the other hand, is a drawn-out comic-book version of Rapunzel – whereas the following books consist of fairy tale collections in a highly-condensed format.
Some Very Grimm Fairy-Tale Comics: Definitely Not For Little Ones
Written and Illustrated by: Rotraut Susanne Berner Translated by: Shelley Tanaka
Published by: Groundwood Books, 2009
Borrowed via inter-library loan. Book photos taken by me.
As the title indicates, this book had every intention to shock its reader in a very tongue-in-cheek fashion (unless of course, you managed to swallow your tongue). The parenthetical remark is deliberate as every fairy tale story here with a happy ending has an addendum such as: “And they would still be alive today… if they hadn’t died, that is.” See below:
There are eight fairy tales in all, ranging from The Frog Prince to Tom Thumb, Mother Holle to The Little Red Cap. Practically all the stories are fairly well-known to the average reader. However, given the highly condensed version of the narrative (roughly three to four pages in all), the stories are hardly fleshed-out, seemed too abrupt and punctuated, with little dimension.
I find this to be more of a collector’s item for adults – as the stories would barely make sense, unless one has read them before in a different format.
Fairy Tale comics: Classic Tales Told By Extraordinary Cartoonists
Edited by: Chris Duffy
Published by: First Second, 2013
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
There are seventeen stories in all told in this collection edited by Duffy. He was also able to gather a few luminaries in the comic book industry to come up with their own retold versions of classic tales such as Jillian Tamaki who wrote about Baba Yaga:
Emily Carroll adapted The Twelve Dancing Princesses:
Raina Telgemeier with her own postmodern twist to Rapunzel:
and Craig Thompson in Azzolino’s Story Without End, a little-known-to-me story which I find to have resonances with The Arabian Nights.
Each story had their own distinct feel and vibe – with their own unique artistic style, layout, typography, narrative. Some may find it to be a weakness with such a hodge-podge, mish-mash assortment of too many styles; however, I find that it worked for me, as it contributed to making each story distinct. Add the fact that each comic book creator breathed their own refreshing arc that turned the stories over on their head. Definitely a book to add to your fairy tale library.
I am glad to share that I finished reading Moon and Ba’s adaptation of Milton Hatoum’s family saga, Two Brothers last week. This was an unforgettable read, one that I hope to review for our upcoming reading theme.
I just finished reading An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (2/24): Read a Play.
Since my 14 year old girl is reading this for her Year 2 Literature class, I thought I might as well read it – hitting two birds with one stone, really. It provides me with better opportunity to discuss the novel and the characters with her for school work. I would most likely read The Chrysalids by John Wyndham too which is another novel that they are supposed to read this year. I liked the play – its mysterious twists and turns, and the strange way it all ended. It was the sense of collective responsibility, nature of crime, and the many faces of guilt that made this story come alive for me. If not for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, I would probably not have included a play as part of my reading list this year, so I am glad I joined.
I have started and am avidly reading Aphrodite by Isabel Allende – also for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. This is a memoir you would want to read along with your girlfriends. It might take me awhile to read this one though.