I have not had a lot of experience with graphic novels, but after reading these two books by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale (no relation), I will be looking at others.
I have read quite a few of Shannon Hale’s books, including Goose Girl, The Princess Academy and Enna Burning, and loved them!
In this series of graphic novels, the classic fairy tales of Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk, cross paths, get jumbled up and go West! Rapunzel has been raised by the evil Mother Gothel in the hopes that she will follow in her footsteps – nothing could be further from her mind! Once she discovers her real mother working in Gothel’s mines, Rapunzel rebels and is herself imprisoned inside a massive hollow (magic) tree, hundred’s of metres from the ground. Through Gothel’s magic, food grows, her hair and nails grow but she cannot get out… or can she?!!
After several years, Rapunzel’s hair is finally long enough for her to swing from her tree to another, however escape is never easy, and of course she is not quite rescued, but helped by a bumbling Calamity Jack. After many trials and tribulations, first Rapunzel’s problems and in the second installment, Jack’s woes are dealt with. This involves many misunderstandings, a faltering/budding romance and many monsters, daredevil feats and quite a bit of rope/hair work!
Thoroughly enjoyed these books. The illustrations are seamless in the story and beautifully crafted. I did try reading the book aloud with a class of Y3 students – reading graphic novels aloud doesn’t necessarily work so well, as most of the students couldn’t be close enough to appreciate and discern the importance of the illustrations. Nevertheless – a fine offering and one i am recommending to many students!
Shannon Hale’s official website: