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Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts. Ten Tales from the Deep Dark Woods by Craig Phillips

April 12, 2017 Comments off

giants trollsGiants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts. Ten Tales from the Deep Dark Woods by Craig Phillips. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2017.

The telling of stories of myths and legends was the reason the storyteller had the best seat by the fire. Here are ten myths legends and fairy tales from nine different cultures that talk about all the mythical creatures mentioned in the title.

Most of the stories you will know already although there was one I hadn’t heard of and it is a beauty. From Sweden is The Boy Who Was Never Afraid. He goes looking for his cow that was stolen by a an old Troll. Who hasn’t? he can’t afford to be afraid and after confronting bravely some formidable opponents he gets his cow back and becomes a hero at the same time. Brilliant.

You get Irish giant Finn  McCool, Russian with Baba Yaga and Momotaro the peach boy plus others. You can’t beat that.

What makes these tales more accessible than they were before is the fact they are written in wide screen comic book illustrations that bring life to the tales. Visual readers will really get into these and so they should.

Less than 30 bucks will get you this impressive book that will appeal to reluctant readers and good readers alike. High boy appeal.

Blastosaurus: Welcome to Freak Out City by Richard Fairgray & Terry Jones

December 7, 2012 Comments off

blastosaurusBlastosaurus: Welcome to Freak Out City by Richard Fairgrey & Terry Jones. Pub. Square Planet Ltd, 2012.

Not my cup of tea this kind of comic style book but I do appreciate that it has value to visual readers particularly boys.

Scientists go back in the past and inject some raptors with a mutant agent that makes then intelligent and mean killers. A baby triceratops is also accidentally injected as the raptors kill his parents.

The raptors plus triceratops are transported into the present where they create havoc. The triceratops is out for revenge the raptors are just a bunch of bad asses. In the present they come in contact with some kids who are fantasy freaks and this is where it became blurred for me.

We are then thrust into a future the world  ruled by robots and all characters are tumbled into this future world, I think.

The saving grace of this book is the sense of humour which is relayed via the dialogue between the characters. The cartoon illustrations which have a lot of Terry Jones in them, are excellent. Heavily influenced by DC Comic characters and super hero type stories.  The triceratops and the raptors are very visually appealing.

Some kids will get off on this book no doubt. Intermediate and secondary school students especially will like this short book. I believe sequels are planned.