Anne of Green Gables was one of my favourite books as a child. My copy was a tattered hard back that had been my mother’s and it was a wonder, given how many times she had read it, that it lasted long enough to be handed down to me. I read and re-read it until it disintegrated.
I was dubious when Net Galley allowed me to read a review copy of the graphic novel by Mariah Marsden and Brenna Thummler. I really wondered what on earth they could add to such a classic book, with such a world wide following of fans.
As it turns out, they add a lot.
One of my great sadnesses as an adult, encouraging children to read, was how hard it was to get kids to read the classics that I had loved as a child. They’re often too wordy and slow for all but the most patient and confident of readers, and I was really beginning to be concerned that the love for these books was on the wane with children. However, I really think that turning the stories into graphic novels, particularly such beautiful and well thought out ones as this, could be their saving grace.
I cannot praise this book highly enough. The illustrations by Brenna Thummler are superb. They perfectly capture the mood of the book for me. There is so much life and joy and movement in these illustrations that the entire book just bursts to life before your eyes. It’s perfectly matched by the skilful paring down of the essentials of the s tory by Mariah Marsden. Her ability to sum up the essence of Anne Shirley in so few words is a skill.
I loved this book so much I read it twice. I was sent a digital review copy, but when the book is published on 30th November 2017, I will be ordering a paper copy of my own, and getting one for my mum for Christmas as well.