Graphic Novel Adaptations of Classic Children’s Books

A new trend seems to be going around to create graphic novel adaptations of classic children novels that I am all for. I really enjoy that the illustrators and adapters listed below have chosen to work with classic children novels, instead of choosing a novel that has just been released within the last few years. I think these graphic novels will really temp children reading them to pick up the novel version and plow through those, as well. I also think that these graphic novel adaptations could work well with a compare/contrast paper for classrooms to see what has changed and what the adapters had to chose what to exclude from the graphic novels.

0374386153_01_LZZZZZZZThis graphic novel has been out for a few years, but I was just able to get my hands on it recently and decided to give it a try. This looks like a very daunting book at first glance, with the graphic novel being close to 400 pages and with additional back matter that includes author and illustrator interviews and discussion questions. However, I think that because it is a graphic novel that once it is picked up by a child it can be read very quickly. This graphic novel remains faithful to this novel’s story line of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin traveling through the universe with Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which to rescue Meg and Charles Wallace’s father and then eventually rescuing Charles Wallace from IT. This novel really lent itself well to turn into a graphic novel, it was interesting to see the illustrator’s interpretations of the worlds they travel to and each character, especially Aunt Beast and Mrs. Whatsit. This would be a great spring board to begin reading the novel and the fantasy genre.

A Wrinkle in Time : The Graphic Novel by Madeline L’Engle, Adapted and Illustrated by Hope Larson. 9780374386153, October 2012. Gr 5-10.

0553523716_01_LZZZZZZZThis is a graphic novel, that I have to admit, I am very excited about. I didn’t realize they were making a graphic novel of this classic children’s book, but I think the adapters and illustrators have done a magnificent job of bringing this book to life with the colorful artwork. It has been many, many years since I have read the novel of The Golden Compass, but this graphic novel certainly made me nostalgic and want to crack open the book again. When I first flipped through the pages of this graphic novel, I was a little taken aback by the artwork, because of the sharp lines and unfinished look to the art. However, as I read through the entire first volume I grew quite fond of the artwork and thought it fit quite well with the whimsical fantastical adventures of Lyra and Pan. Unlike the Wrinkle in Time graphic novel, the adapters/illustrators have chosen to break this novel into volumes, with the first being released in September 2015, but I am eagerly anticipating the next volume of this graphic novel. Just as with A Wrinkle in Time, it will be interesting to see if this duo continue on in the Dark Materials trilogy.

The Golden Compass Graphic Novel by Philip Pullman, Adapted and Illustrated by Stéphanie Melchoir-Durand and Clément Oubrerie. 9780553523713, September 2015. Gr 4-7.

0545813867_01_LZZZZZZZRaina Telgemeier is rebooting her Baby-Sitters club graphic novels, which were first published in 2006 which will be in full color. I think this graphic novel version of the Baby-Sitters novels (first published in the 1980s) would be definitely be a hit again with the tween girls. Raina Telgemeier is already a hit with this age group with her Smile and Sisters graphic novel memoirs and I think this series will do just as well again. The character of Kristy Thomas will be easily to relate to with her single mother (who is dating), school problems, and sibling drama. The idea of creating a club for baby sitting with their friends will resonate well with higher elementary and middle school girls who want to play with babies and be more independent. The other graphic novels in this series are being released quite close together, so they will be easy to get for those girls who want to read the next one immediately.

The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix : 1 : Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M. Martin, Adapted and Illustrated by Raina Telgemeier. 9780545813860, April 2015. Gr 4-7.


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