Theseus and the Minotaur HC (Toon) Hardcover – 11 Sep 2014
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Sound effects and wry dialogue ... lighten the drama.... Pommaux's suggestion that Theseus neglected to change his ship's black sails because he was "distraught" over leaving Ariadne behind is a nice touch.
French author-artist Pommaux offers a solid graphic retelling of the life of Theseus, first published in France. ... Character bios, pronunciations, and an index round out a handsomely illustrated introduction to a classical hero.
Pommaux s illustrations focus on light coloring and shading, making the sometimes brutal story gentle enough for younger audiences. Large splash panels really draw the eye and give a great sense of story, which should help students who may struggle to read the large blocks of text. ... Teachers looking for a great resource on this myth will be pleased. Added at the end is an in-depth glossary that further explains characters and topics only briefly mentioned in the text, making it an ideal resource for those learning about this myth for the first time.
A widely appealing tale in which a heroic warrior reclaims his destiny. ... The full-color art complements and enhances the narrative. ... An accessible, informative, and enjoyable read.
School Library Journal
Sound effects and wry dialogue ... lighten the drama.... Pommaux s suggestion that Theseus neglected to change his ship s black sails because he was "distraught" over leaving Ariadne behind is a nice touch.
Absolutely brilliant! Smart and well told -- plus the art is sublime.
Jeff Smith, Author of Bone
An ancient story wonderfully retold in a perfectly ancient way, graphically," "text and pictures more together than either could be alone.
Jon Scieszka, author of The Stinky Cheese Man
Adventure, mythology, and a Minotour! What's not to like!
Frank Cammuso, author of Knights of the Lunch Table"
About the Author
This is the American debut of Yvan Pommaux, one of France s most prominent children s book authors. Beloved for his comics and heavily illustrated books, he s the recipient of the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris. There are three schools named after him in France."
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Have you got all that?
Theseus and the Minotaur could be an allegorical tale for the labyrinth that is Greek mythology with its complex relationships, confusing agendas, and confounding names. A graphic novel can be a great vehicle by which the elementary reader can be exposed to a-maze-ing tales such as this one.
Toon Graphics tries to rise to the challenge with this beautifully illustrated work. Yet, the densely arrayed images per page, combined with the wordy narration throughout - in addition to the speech bubbles (in a different font) - makes this godly tale feel merely mortal. An exciting myth like this needs larger art and more than 48 pages to be told.
There's terrific attention to detail including the 2-page trading card recap followed by the helpful index. Overall, "Theseus" is an artistic gem, but is way too wordy for both the graphic novel concept, and the target audience of elementary readers.
I recommend this work for your middle and older readers.
Review by Young Mensan Saksham R., age 9, Central New Jersey Mensa
There were things I liked and disliked about this book. Let me start with what I didn't like. For starters, it did not read like a comic book. There were text bubbles, but they were few and far between. It more felt like reading a narration than characters interacting. The other thing I didn't like was the sexual themes in the book. Yes, it's Greek mythology, so it is to be expected, but the suggested reading level is 8+. With these themes, it should be middle school, and probably late middle school at that. What I liked is that this adaptation stayed true to the mythology. I also liked that there was phonetic pronunciations of the hard to pronounce Greek names. This is helpful for kids and adults alike. The index and further readings at the ends were also a nice touch and super helpful. Last, but not least, the illustrations were great, but of course I knew they would be! Overall, a very good graphic novel, just use your judgment on what age to let your children read it.
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