Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Release: Calamity Jack by all sorts of Hales

Released today: Calamity Jack, the new graphic novel by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale (the first two are married to each other but Nathan is not related).

I haven't seen the book in person yet, but here are some reviews for your edification. This is technically a sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge. The cover looks quite steampunky, too, which should appeal to those enjoying that current trend in science fiction and fantasy. And, yes, Rapunzel appears in this new book, too. She's on the cover...

Review from School Library Journal:

Gr 4-9–The Hales follow up Rapunzel’s Revenge (Bloomsbury, 2008) with this fast-moving story focusing on Jack. It begins in the city of Shyport with his birth. Even as a child, Jack tends toward scheming, conning, and thievery with various accomplices, including Pru, a hat-fancying pixie. One scheme involving magical beans and the wealthy and corrupt giant Blunderboar goes awry, leaving Jack’s tenement and his mother’s bakery destroyed. Jack’s mother orders him to go, and go he does with a certain goose under his arm. After the events recounted in Rapunzel’s Revenge, Jack and Rapunzel head back to Shyport to set things right. They arrive to find that Jack’s mother is being held prisoner by Blunderboar, who is virtually running the city. They team up with Pru and Freddie Sparksmith, a young journalist, to save Jack’s mom and the day. Nathan Hale’s artwork again places the action in a fairy-tale version of the American West, now with the city as backdrop. His character sketches are delightfully expressive, and the book has the same rich palette as the previous story. It should satisfy readers who enjoy adventure, fairy tales, and anyone who loves a rogue. Some fans of Bill Willingham’s “Jack of Fables” series (Vertigo) may also enjoy this take on the “Jack” stories for a younger audience.–Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Review from Publishers Weekly:

Calamity Jack follows up Rapunzel's Revenge, the 2008 graphic novel that imagined the famous damsel in distress taking matters into her own hands. Children's author Shannon Hale and her husband, Dean, and illustrator Hall offer a charming update of Jack and Beanstalk, set in a world that combines elements of fairy tales, a Gilded Age American city, and the Wild West. Jack is a young huckster until one of his schemes leads him to stumble upon a dastardly plot by the evil giant who lives in a penthouse that towers above Shyport. Teaming again with Rapunzel, and a few other allies, Jack leads readers on adventure trekking through sewers and taking to the sky. The dynamic artwork fits well with Jack and Rapunzel's quick tongues, as they flirt their way through numerous hair-raising situations. Ages 10–up. (Jan.)

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