Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review of Tall: Great American Folktales

Graphic novels are becoming more and more popular as a method of enticing young readers to engage in a story. Donnie Lemke has edited a book called Tall: Great American Folktales, that consists of four popular tall tales, told in a comic format. Stories include those of Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Johnny Appleseed. These legendary tales have been passed down from generation to generation in a variety of formats. This is the first time that I have seen them in a graphic format. I read that these four stories were previously available as individual titles; this is an omnibus.

I admit that I struggle with reading graphic novels. It is not my preferred format. I do acknowledge, though, that it is becoming much more popular and entices kids to read things that they otherwise would have never picked up. For some of them, it is more appealing because they have difficulty reading. Others simply enjoy this format better. It definitely caught the attention of a 10 year-old boy I know!

As a whole, the book is cute, with some great illustrations. I felt like the first two stories, about Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill, got a little more silly than I remember those stories being. The mood of the stories was altered for me.

My favorite was the last one about Johnny Appleseed. I felt that it really held true to the tale. It told a good story without being too goofy.

Graphic stories are much more difficult to read out loud. This would be best as an individual reading activity. Perhaps it would be best used after reading the original tales out loud.

I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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