Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack, both written by Shannon Hale (one of my favorite authors), were my first graphic novels. I had been hesitant to dive into the world of graphic novels, finding it a little intimidating, so I decided to start with someone I trusted to write a compelling story, pictures or no.
I was not disappointed. These books combine cute artwork with fun fairy tale retellings. They’re simple but fun, a good intro to graphic novels, especially for kids.
Rapunzel’s Revenge is the first of the pair. It’s a Wild West themed retelling, combining many fairy tales (the focus, of course, is on the Rapunzel tale). Rapunzel is a spunky girl, forced by her witch mother to live in a magical forest for years on end, where both the tree she is trapped in and her hair grow at an astonishing rate. Rapunzel uses her hair as a lasso when she finally gets free and starts seeking justice, which is hilarious and awesome. She runs into Jack (as in Jack and the beanstalk) along the way, and despite his shady past, he and Rapunzel team up and kick butt.
In Calamity Jack, Jack is the star (obviously), and Rapunzel becomes the sidekick. The story moves from the Wild West setting to a steampunk city. It reveals Jack’s backstory, and it involves plenty of magical creatures (brownies, jabberwock, etc.). Jack and Rapunzel must once again fight for justice, this time in a corrupt city that is taking over citizens’ businesses and livelihoods.
Both of these books are cute, fun, and a great introduction to graphic novels. Whether you’re a Shannon Hale fan, or just looking for a way to get yourself or your child interested in graphic novels, check out these books!
Rating: Pretty Darn Good