Book Review: The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan

 

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If you think you’ve read all you need to read about Grimm’s Fairy Tales, think again. Shaun Tan pairs the briefest telling of a tale with deceptively simple sculptures. The words and photographed sculptures combine to tell the darker, deeper story underlying the tales we know so well.
Reader tip: if you are unfamiliar with a particular tale their are more detailed synopses in the book’s appendix. I might have preferred reading these as I read each tale.
 Check out the author’s page for a peek at some of the sculptures.
 Source:  Public Library -I suggest NOT getting an ebook for this read.
Audience:  Grade 7 and up
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Through the Woods, stories by Emily Carroll

(I used guidelines from East Carolina University to help me critically evaluate this text.)

This graphic novel is a collection of 5 stories of similar style and tone.  Think creepy ghost story meets very grim fairy tale.  In each story the main character is faced with a choice, what she chooses will lead to her…adventure.

First off, the text.  I found this appropriate for middle and high school in terms of content and vocabulary.  Struggling readers will not find too many difficult words or sentence structures.  Skilled readers will find the plots intriguing and interesting.  The cover art certainly reflects the content of the book and will have excellent shelf appeal.  The interior art and text work well together.  I found myself flipping back pages to check detail in the art as I made predictions about the plot.  Each palette of color seemed to be chosen deliberately.  A variety of page layouts add to the interest of the book.

Artists may enjoy a scroll through the author’s website.

Thanks to my local library for buying this book!