The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Ian Lendler and Zack Giallongo
Review by Lauren
Source: review copy; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: The Stratford Zoo looks like a normal zoo… until the gates shut at
night. That’s when the animals come out of their cages to stage
elaborate performances of Shakespeare’s greatest works. They might not
be the most accomplished thespians, but they’ve got what counts: heart.
Also fangs, feathers, scales, and tails, in The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.
Review: This is such a fun graphic novel! I know I didn’t start reading Shakespeare until I was in high school, so this is a fun way to introduce a younger crowd to the Bard’s work, though definitely in a different format. Not only is this book a graphic novel, but the play is being performed within its pages by a group of animals at the zoo. Every night, when all the humans have gone home, the animals gather together to act out Shakespeare. This book is all about Macbeth, of course, though the book hints that Romeo and Juliet will be next.
If you know the play Macbeth, you’re probably aware that it’s a bit dark and bloody. However, this book makes it more kid friendly by including animals as the performers. For example, Lady Macbeth becomes obsessed with the spot after the king is killed (or eaten, in this case) but instead of being all about the blood (though she does have blood on her hand at first), it becomes a bit more comedic since Lady Macbeth is a leopard, and therefore, covered in spots.
There is another aspect of the book that I was unsure how they would cover in a kid-friendly adaptation, bu they did a great job. If you know the play, you might remember the whole “not born from a mother” line the witches give Macbeth. If not, you’ll learn what I mean when you read this graphic novel.
I would suggest this graphic novel for a slightly older child, as amazon states it’s good for grades 2-5 and it would definitely be more interesting for someone who can read on their own.