Thursday, September 22, 2011

Secrets, Monsters and Magic Mirrors, edt. Donald Lemke

My final graphic novel for Capstone (at this time) and it was a doozy. Secrets, Monsters and Magic Mirrors was the retelling of five popular fairy tales by five different teams of authors and illustrators.
The stories told were Rapunzel, Thumbelina, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and Princess and the Pea. I loved that they were each adapted by different people. It gave the stories an element of surprise because the illustrations were so varied. All, but Snow White, followed the popular telling of each story.
I recommend this book for any reader. I can see it appealing to girls more than boys but the style of the various stories might catch a male eye. They definitely would be a great replacement for your average fairy tale picture book.
One feature I loved the most was at the end of each story was its history. A single page detailing who published the first copy of the story and some of its evolution. To me, that made the book jump over my favorite list.
There's something fascinating with the history of a story and learning exactly how it's changed over the years.
I should make a note of the illustration styles for those who need to do the hard pitch.
Rapunzal was a rather basic design, lots of grays with accents of color. The style almost reminds me of Charles Addams or Roald Dahl's books. The witch is a series of circles against sharp scenery. The characters had a German flair. When Rapunzel is free of the witch, the grays turn yellow.
The illustrations for Thumbelina are bright and more cheerful. They remind me of Nickelodeon, specifically The Wild Thornberries. I'm sure other readers can connect it to other cartoons.
Snow White has a "true" comic book feel to it. I could easily see it sitting amongst stacks of Superman, Elf Quest and others. It's darker than the rest in this book.
Beauty and the Beast is lighter and more colorful. The work is digital resulting in sharp contrasts and less round edges. It feels more like a picture book than a graphic novel.
Princess and the Pea completely reminded me of Japanese graphics or manga. The characters have sharp features and huge eyes. Everything is much lighter and muted.
I can not wait to get my hands on more of this series. Start the hunt for Capstone books and enjoy.

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