Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Morning Cartoons- Anne of Green Gables

Marsden, Mariah and Thummier, Brenna. Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel
October 24th 2017 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy provided by the publisher

Since Anne's fan base is largely older, I was a bit surprised to see this book! However, given the fact that there is a new Netflix series, there may be some interest among a new generation of readers, and this would be a good way to lure them in.

I was impressed at how true to the book the graphic novelis-- I didn't check the text against the 1908 novel, because I've given all of my books away. The scenes are as I remember, and the language very similar. Given the nature of a graphic novel, scenes are truncated, and smaller events are left out. Sometimes, it's a bit hard to follow what is going on (we don't get the full background of her relationship with Josie Pye, for example), but the overview is a good one, and provides a substantial overview of Anne's character.

The illustrations were clearly well researched, and the places in particular shine. The characters possess the traits given to them in the book, and the period details ring true. The colors are somewhat pastel, and the use of light and dark often signifies mood. My only objection is Anne's nose! While all of the noses seem to be pinker at the end, Anne's is much redder and turned up, so it looks like her nose was pasted onto her face as an afterthought. Don't think that middle grade readers will care about this, but I am very distracted by the noses on drawings of people!

All in all, this is an excellent adaptation of a beloved novel that many libraries will want to add to their collection and use to entice a new generation a kindred spirits to read Montgomery's work.

Personally, I'm just done with Anne. She was my very favorite when I was a teen, but I have recently developed a feeling of wanting to slap her for her histrionics that makes the books impossible to enjoy upon rereading.

Ziegler, Maddie. The Audition
(Suspect this was mainly written by Julia Devillers)
November 1st 2017 by HarperCollins
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

When Harper's father takes a job in Florida, the family leaves Connecticut and Harper must audition for a new dance studio after having been at her old one her entire life. Luckily, she not only makes it into Dance Starz, and onto a small competition team. Another new girl, Lily, does as well, but the other three girls are the "Bunheads"; Trina, Megan, and Riley. They are angry to have new girls on the team, especially since they thought they would have Isabelle and Bella, who have jumped ship and gone to a rival studio, Energi. Megan is especially nasty, since she is always the star of every show, and she is threatened  by Harper's dance abilities. When Harper has trouble with a few of the new steps, she starts to doubt her own abilities, and when she falls off a float in a local parade, she is really worried. With the support of Lily (whose parents own a frozen yogurt shop!) and her younger sister Hailey, she is able to make peace with her new team and do well in a competition.
Strengths: Lots of details about classes, costumes, competitions, and the rivalry between dancers and their mothers. I do have a few girls every year who are very active in dance, and it's been difficult to find books on the subject.
Weaknesses: The girls have very stereotypical interests-- when they are talking about the jobs they might pursue when they grow up, it's all fashion design and dancing. Seems unrealistic and somehow not helpful. I do wonder what girls who devote this much time to dance do once they get to college.
What I really think: DeVillers writing combined with Ziegler's personal experience with dance (apparently, she's some sort of television personality? Never heard of her.) make this one that I will have to buy, considering how few middle grade ballet/dance books there are.

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