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Review: Tall

We all grew up on stories of Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed.  This anthology brings together four fabulous comic renderings of some well-known stories, told by some better known artists and authors and some who are up and coming.

Tall: Great American Folk Tales (The Comics Anthology)
Edited by Lemke, Donald. Various illustrators
Grades 4 and up
Stone Arch Books, ISBN 978-1-4342-4068-2, $12.95 pbk
C2012, 144 p.

This anthology doesn’t take itself too seriously.  The stories of Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Johnny Appleseed are delightfully and humorously told for readers of all ages, with illustrations that could come from a Saturday morning cartoon. Young readers will delight in stories they might or might not know.

The stories won’t be new to adult readers, but they will enjoy the illustrations, which are fun and funky. The most striking of the artwork is by Nelson Evergreen, as he illustrated the story of John Henry. (That’s when I looked back and noticed each story has a different author and illustrator.)  What makes this volume new again is the artwork. Otherwise, readers can turn to some of the classics to read more about these tall tales from American history.

Each story ends with information about the characters, giving readers a bit more of a history lesson. But don’t worry, no one will actually feel like they’re learning while they read this. An excellent choice for librarians and parents looking to give their kids a little something different to read.

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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