Book Review: The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents MACBETH

Monday, July 21, 2014
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents MacBeth
Author: Ian Lendler and Zack Giallongo
Series: A series of a kind - I believe the next one is Romeo and Juliet.
Publication Date: September 30th 2014 by First Second Books

Synopsis: "The Stratford Zoo is like any other zoo...until closing time!
That's when the animals come out of their cages to perform Shakespeare's greatest works. They might not be the best actors, but they've got heart. (Also fangs, feathers, scales, and tails.)
Ian Lendler's hilarious tale of after-hours animal theater is perfectly paired with the vivid, adorable artwork of Zack Giallongo. So take your seats and prepare for Shakespeare's greatest tragedy as you've never seen it - funny! And with tacos!"

My thoughts: This book was a really fun read. It's around 70 pages, so it's quite quick, and the illustrations are amazing. There's so much colour and it features quite a few characteristics of the actual animals, which I find awesome.

The story, however, has been quite watered down as I think this is created for children - and those who have read Macbeth the play will know that it is quite bloody and filled with huge blocks of text about blood. Not really kid-friendly. I applaud the way the author has approached this and tried to make it more accessible to kids, but I'm not entirely sure it works - and that isn't a statement on the author's ability, just on the scope for a Shakespeare play to be effectively modified. There is a lot of grit to Macbeth, and I think quite a few things get lost in translation to this book.

If I were to read this without thinking of it's relation to Shakespeare, I think I would really enjoy it. I am interested in seeing how they go with the next book, Romeo and Juliet, but I think I will leave my sceptical hat on for now.

I received a review copy of this book from First Second Books.

You would like this book if: you like colourful animal characters, you like jokes involving ketchup-as-blood.

Rating:  6.5/10

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