Graphic Novels by Stone Arch Books

You know I love my fairy tales. I was checking the library website one night for any versions of "Thumbelina" that I might have missed, when I came across this very cute graphic novel. I placed a hold on it right away, of course.

Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina, retold by Martin Powell,
illustrated by Sarah Horne. Stone Arch Books, 2010.

Little Sis read it aloud to me. It was both true to the original tale and decidedly modern in tone, a very fun take on a classic tale.

I was pleased to find a glossary and blurb about Hans Christian Andersen after the story. There were discussion questions and writing prompts at the back of the book, too. Stone Arch Books is a division of Capstone, which specializing in educational books and resources for kids. I was impressed enough to go digging for similar books. The series of fairy tales and folk stories is called Graphic Spin. As it turned out, our library had quite a few on hand!

Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm, retold by Stephanie Peters,
illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins. Stone Arch Books, 2009.

I adored the illustrations in Rapunzel. The witch looks like some sort of Tim Burton spider creature, and the humans remind me of slightly deranged Joan Walsh Anglund children. By the way, this version is true to the original Grimm, in that Rapunzel gives birth to twins after she's banished by the witch. This confused my littlest, because this Rapunzel looks so young! "But she looks like a little girl! How did she have babies? When did they get married? Did they get married?" So um, be prepared for questions, if you have a very inquisitive child like mine...

The Elves and the Shoemaker by the Brothers Grimm,
retold by Martin Powell, illustrated by Pedro Rodriguez.
Stone Arch Books, 2011.

I love the goblin-like elves! Pedro Rodriguez is the illustrator of one of our favorite Halloween books, A Vampire is Coming to Dinner. [Ooo, I never blogged about that one!] There's a cute history of the Brothers Grimm at the back.

Jack and the Beanstalk, retold by Blake A. Hoena,
illustrated by Ricardo Tercio. Stone Arch Books, 2009.

I enjoyed the history of this fairy tale, after the story had ended. There are quite a few different versions, and while Hoena based his retelling on one version, he deviated a bit. I love the attention to detail in these books.

There are more than fairy tales, too! Alice in Wonderland, for example, is part of their Graphic Revolve series of Classic Fiction graphic novels.

Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, retold by Martin Powell,
illustrated by Daniel Perez. Stone Arch Books, 2010.

Obviously, Alice is simplified here, but it's a fun retelling, full of trippy images.

There is even a series of graphic novels based on the plays of William Shakespeare! I checked out my favorite play-as-comic book.

Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, retold by Nel Yomtov,
illustrated by Berenice Muñiz. Stone Arch Books, 2012.

I was excited to see the play-within-a-play in the book. The "Pyramus and Thisbe" bit in the last act is one of the best parts!

Anyway, if you spend any time searching the website, you will see there are a ton of these books, fiction and nonfiction alike, and we've really enjoyed what we've read so far. Besides boasting some cool illustrations, they stayed pretty faithful to the source material, while being fun and easy to follow. A lot of thought was put into the extras, as well: the glossaries, histories, author biographies, etc.

We checked our copies out from the library, but Capstone lists most of these for sale on their website for only $4.99 each. I may be doing some shopping later.

[For the record: no one from Capstone approached me about this post. I found these books on my own, and I'm posting about them on my own. That's how I roll, folks. If I like something, I share it.]

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  1. Very cool. I'm off to check out the Shakespeare ones. (a friend of mine teaches teenagers english and told me that having kids reading greek myths and knowing who is who in that world is very useful when it comes to reading poetry for exams. I'm guessing knowing Shakespearean characters would be handy too.!)

    Oh, and our neighbours childminder announced her pregnancy recently and when I was congratulating her my son was all "hang on a second, is she having a baby? But is she MARRIED? Why are you telling me to be QUIET?"

    1. Hahaha! Oh, kids. I reminded Little Sis that her cousin was a flower girl at her own parents' wedding, which led to her asking, "Then where do babies come from?" Maybe I need to buy that book The Baby Tree after all.

  2. THESE LOOK SO AMAZING!!!!!!! wowee wow wow! this is so cool and so timely, because my kiddo just is 100% obsessed with all things comic and manga and graphic novel-ly and these look so interesting and cool! what a find! and with that....i'm off to go find! (i'm sorry, i can't help being this weird and this silly) :)

    1. They really are fantastic. We've had a good time reading them all.


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