Review Blog

Sep 23 2010

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell retold by L .L. Owens

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Ill. by Jennifer Tanner. Graphic Revolve series. Raintree, 2010. ISBN 9781406213485.
The classic story Black Beauty is retold in graphic format. I was enchanted with this book as a child and found that it didn't lose any of its appeal in this abbreviated graphic novel. Black Beauty's life is retold in a series of five chapters, describing in detail the horse's happy beginnings, life at Birtwick Park and Earlshall Park, his time as a London cab horse and the final sale. Horse lovers will be introduced to a classic through this format, and may want to follow up with the novel.
Part of a series called Graphic Revolve, the latest include King Arthur and the knights of the round table, The hunchback of Notre Dame, The war of the worlds, The strange case of Dr Jekylll and Mr Hyde, Dracula, Hound of the Baskervilles and Treasure Island. Each is an abbreviated version of the original classic, but the bright illustrations are engaging and the main points of the original are followed, engaging the reader's interest immediately. Each has a Table of Contents that is easy to follow and each introduces the main characters at the beginning of the book. At the back of the book is information about the original author, a glossary and background to the story. Discussion questions and writing prompts round off what is a most entertaining introduction to classic literature.
Pat Pledger

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