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Folklore and Fairy Tale Funnies (Little Lit) [Hardcover]

Art Spiegelman , Francoise Moult
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 66 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books; First Printing edition (4 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060286245
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060286248
  • Product Dimensions: 33.4 x 24 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 727,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Innovative cartoonists and renowned children's book artists from around the world have gathered to bring you the magic of fairy tales through the wonder of comics.

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First Sentence
Father, did you know that I'm really a rooster? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I'm a long-time fan of comic books, but I'm 38...where are the new, young readers of stories in the comic book form going to come from? There's little that's geared specifically at kids in the modern American market: most comes from Europe, like the Asterix and Tintin books. The joy of such books is their universality: they don't have to be 'written down' for kids, they can appeal to adults as well as children ("Harry Potter", anyone?). Leave it to Art Spiegelman (the acclaimed "Maus") to edit an oversized collection of 'folklore and fairy tale funnies" that will delight and amuse kids and intrigue the adults as well! There's a wide range of contemporary alternative comic book artists (Charles Burns, Kaz, Joost Swarte, Daniel Clowes, Art Spiegelman) and children's book illustrators (William Joyce, J. Otto Seibold, David Macaulay, Claude Ponti), an elaborate and beautifully-designed punchout board game by Chris Ware ("the Acme Novelty Library"), and even a hard-to-find classic story by Walt Kelly (creator of "Pogo").
The book's a beautiful package--an oversized hardcover just perfect for sprawling on the floor or crawling up in a lap with. Some of the pieces are straight-forward, somewhat twisted retellings of fairy tales and folktales, others are games or puzzles, but every one of them. You'll have your own favorites--mine are the Japanese-style, subtly-toned "Fisherman and the Sea Princess" by David Mazzucchelli and the macabre but pointedly-moral "The Hungry Horse" by Kaz--but there's stories in here for every sensibility and mood, outrageous or subtle.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, colorful fairy tales in comic book form 2 Oct 2000
By John DiBello - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm a long-time fan of comic books, but I'm 38...where are the new, young readers of stories in the comic book form going to come from? There's little that's geared specifically at kids in the modern American market: most comes from Europe, like the Asterix and Tintin books. The joy of such books is their universality: they don't have to be 'written down' for kids, they can appeal to adults as well as children ("Harry Potter", anyone?). Leave it to Art Spiegelman (the acclaimed "Maus") to edit an oversized collection of 'folklore and fairy tale funnies" that will delight and amuse kids and intrigue the adults as well! There's a wide range of contemporary alternative comic book artists (Charles Burns, Kaz, Joost Swarte, Daniel Clowes, Art Spiegelman) and children's book illustrators (William Joyce, J. Otto Seibold, David Macaulay, Claude Ponti), an elaborate and beautifully-designed punchout board game by Chris Ware ("the Acme Novelty Library"), and even a hard-to-find classic story by Walt Kelly (creator of "Pogo").
The book's a beautiful package--an oversized hardcover just perfect for sprawling on the floor or crawling up in a lap with. Some of the pieces are straight-forward, somewhat twisted retellings of fairy tales and folktales, others are games or puzzles, but every one of them has a distinctive and colorful charm. You'll have your own favorites--mine are the Japanese-style, subtly-toned "Fisherman and the Sea Princess" by David Mazzucchelli and the macabre but pointedly-moral "The Hungry Horse" by Kaz--but there's stories in here for every sensibility and mood, outrageous or subtle. And don't think that just because it's 'comic-booky' that it's not great: teach your kids how to read visual storytelling, how to follow the word balloons, captions, and panel sequences, and they'll soon be ready for some of the finest the medium has to offer: 'Calvin and Hobbes,' 'Tintin,' 'Akiko,' 'The Spirit' --all of them great stories *and* storytelling, even though the characters are in little boxes talking with word balloons.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great initiative. Let's see more like it! 28 Oct 2000
By Yakov Hadash - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
LITTLE LIT, the brainchild of comics master Art Spiegelman, was created to fill a void in comics: There is nothing out there anymore for kids. He looked around himself and saw talent brimming over the surface, but no one creating for the people who made comics popular in the first place. On the back, it says, "COMICS -- They're not just for grown-ups anymore!" The oversize hardcover is a collection of seventeen artists -- some comics creators, some illustrators, some children's book authors -- for this book of fairy tales. Let me say straight out that the art is downright beautiful. Gorgeous. Breathtaking. However, with the exception of one Japanese folk tale, there is absolutely no diversity: All white, and mostly male. There is no excuse for that. Beyond that, however, most of this book is solid gold.
Firstly, it's designed by Chip "BATMAN: ANIMATED" Kidd. He is, quite simply, the best graphic designer in the business. In this volume, he strikes the perfect balance between old-fashioned and avant-garde design. And the covers (no dust jacket -- just the leather hardcover) are by Art Spiegelman. The paper is thick and matte. The only problem here is that the book seems a little fragile, like the pages will come out at the slightest provocation. But I could be wrong about that.
"Prince Rooster" (Spiegelman), "The Leafless Tree" (Joost Swarte), "The Two Hunchbacks" (Lorenzo Mattotti), "The Baker's Daughter" (Harry Bliss), and "The Princess and the Pea" are all lushly drawn, fairly simple fairy tales. "Humpty Trouble" (William Joyce) and "Jack and the Beanstalk" (David Macaulay) are light satires. "The Hungry Horse" (Kaz) is a wonderful story, my favorite *story* of the batch, but "The Fisherman and the Sea Princess" (David Mazzuchelli), the Japanese folk tale is my favorite overall. The only story here that I don't like is "The Sleeping Beauty" (the ending that nobody knows) by Daniel Clowes, because he can't draw people who look good or smile or anything that you need in a fairy tale. Also thrown in is a lost Walt Kelly cartoon, "The Gingerbread Man," originally from FAIRY TALE PARADE (?!) in the 40's. Shorter features are a memory game, a laugh-out-loud "What's Wrong With This Picture," find the twins, and Spookyland (Charles Burns), which is absolutely terrifying -- I think it's too scary for little kids myself. In the front and back is FAIRY TALE ROAD RAGE (Chris Ware), a game with little cars to assemble and chits to punch out and instructions to read. Essentially, you move around the board and create a story by picking random chits and putting them in the appropriate places on your card. When it fills up, you read the story and make up a moral. It's a lot of fun. And the pictures and instructions are absolutely hilarious.
All in all, this book is highly recommended for small children of any age! :)
E-mail if you would like to discuss (kobyc@softhome.net) ...... -Koby.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for All Ages 14 Jun 2001
By Blahblahblah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good writing and good illustration always have universal appeal. Unfortunately this is something that has been forgotten in the comic book industry lately. It used to be that you could find comics that were fun reading for people of all ages, but that is a rarity these days in which comics are largely marketed to either an adult audience or to adolescent males who equate being "adult" with reading about violence and aggression and anatomically incorrect women in tights. This book (ironically labelled "Comics aren't just for adults anymore" in an echo of DC Comic's mid-1980s "Comics aren't just for kids" ad campaign) is a nice reminder of the way things used to be.
All the stories are wonderfully written and illustrated. The "Jack (and his Mother) and the Beanstalk" would have been better if it diverged less from the traditional in my opinion, but "The Princess and the Pea", which takes hillarious stabs at the original story while being beautifully illustrated in a traditionally romantic style, is effective at poking fun at itself. Most of the stories have obvious morals and can just be taken at their face value, and therefore can't be read on a different level by adults, but they are still enjoyable. The one exception to this is Chris Ware's wonderful original (though depressing) fairy tale and his board game (the instructions are priceless!) which utilizes his usual sardonic and cynical sense of humour very effectively, and I agree with the reviewer below that Charles Burns' Bosch inspired double-page spread might be a little disturbing to adults, but seen through innocent eyes I believe kids will find it more humourous.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adult sophistication wrapped in childlike simplicity... 22 Dec 2001
By Matthew L. Mutchmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Little Lit offers a fabulous and varied collection of 16 contemporary artists' comics-style interpretations of folklore and fairy-tales. The makers of comics, comix and children's picture books number among the contributors, including Art Spiegelman, Walt Kelly, David Macaulay, William Joyce, Kaz, Charles Burns, Peter Bagge (Hate), J. Otto Seibold (Olive the Other Reindeer), and Daniel Clowes (Ghost World). Each uses a unique style of sequential art to interpret a fairy tale, either an original story using traditional motifs or a familiar tale.
Some of the retellings like Daniel Clowes's sequel to "Sleeping Beauty" are told in formal language, others like Barbara McClintock's "The Princess and the Pea" are tongue-in-cheek. There are familiar formatted strips along with one and two page puzzles. Chris Ware contributes a "Fairy Tale Road Rage" game to play on the endpapers, complete with push-out game pieces. The imaginatively designed and carefully produced book is in large format to allow space for even the most detailed artwork.
Little Lit is a sophisticated collection masquerading as a simple children's book. It's a hybrid of childlike simplicity and adult imagination. Very highly recommended!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Smorgasbord of Fun..... 14 Nov 2001
By Roz Levine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Where have all the old fashioned comics and comic books gone? You know, the ones with humorous and entertaining story lines, and busy, splashy pictures that kids would pore over, mesmerized, for hours. They seem to have all but disappeared. Fortunately, Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly have remedied this situation with their marvelously creative book, Little Lit. They've collected folklore, fairy tales, games, and puzzles from the best and brightest cartoonists, children's book authors, and illustrators and compiled them into one oversized book of endless fun. From Kaz's The Hungry Horse, and Barbara McClintock's The Princess And The Pea, Joost Swarte's The Leafless Tree, and Walt Kelly's The Gingerbread Man, to What's Wrong With This Picture, Spookyland and even an inventive board game, complete with pieces, these stories and activities range from the outrageous, to the thoughtful, silly, and funny, but all include amazing bold, and intricately detailed artwork that captures the imagination and almost spills off the pages. Perfect for youngsters 9 and older, Little Lit is an innovative treasure to read and share, that will entrance your kids and keep them busy for hours.
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