Sunday, August 07, 2016

Shrunken Treasures

Shrunken Treasures. Scott Nash. 2016. Candlewick. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Love picture books? Love literature? Love the idea of loving literature? Shrunken Treasures might be just right for you. Here's why: Scott Nash has condensed nine literary works into verse 'for children.' (I'm not absolutely convinced that this one is truly for children, and that it will be appreciated by children.) Am I convinced that it can and will be appreciated by adults? It's much easier to say YES to that one.

So which books are condensed?
  • The Odyssey
  • Frankenstein
  • Moby-Dick
  • Jane Eyre
  • A Thousand and One Nights
  • Hamlet
  • Don Quixote
  • The Metamorphosis
  • Remembrance of Things Past
I believe two of these can be sung to nursery rhyme tunes. Not all were written with singing in mind. The shortest of the condensed works is Remembrance of Things Past.

How "useful" are these condensed stories? (I mean "useful" for students wanting to avoid reading the originals for their school assignments.) Not very! But I'm not complaining about all. Hamlet, for example, is about a dog--a Great Dane--with a habit of digging holes. A Thousand and One Nights stars a tiger and a mouse. Don Quixote covers about one or possibly two chapters of a very, very long novel.

I enjoyed this one. I didn't love, love, love it. I think one thing that kept me from loving it was the fact that I didn't really "like" the illustrations.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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