Review by Booklist Review
Gr. 8^-12. This is not the great classic novel but a few little-known episodes that Dickens excerpted from the book for his dramatic public readings. His performances were for adults who knew the book, and it's only readers familiar with the novel who will understand what's going on. This large-size volume is for teens interested in book illustration and dramatic performance. Marks (who illustrated Over the Hills and Far Away: A Book of Nursery Rhymes ) captures the romance and the comedy of the excerpts with watercolor paintings on every page. But generally this is theatrical Dickens for nostalgic adults. --Hazel Rochman
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-Fields has taken the original story and made it more approachable to younger and reluctant readers, losing none of the Dickensian drama. The characters are true to the original tale as are the plot and its development. McWilliam's whimsical cartoon artwork illustrates the key moments in the story and heightens its emotions and situations. Kelly does an adequate job of adapting the Dumas classic. The original is a rich, extravagant story about political intrigue, deception, history, and drama. All of the main players are here, but readers need to be familiar with The Three Musketeers in order to understand who the characters are and how they have grown. The language, sentence structure, and limited vocabulary make this appropriate for the middle grades and will introduce children to this literary classic. Unfortunately, while Lacey's illustrations provide a break for the eye at certain points in the narrative, they fail to capture the pageantry and drama of the period. In Phantom, Mullarkey uses simple vocabulary and sentence structure without losing Leroux's drama, horror, and suspense. The principal characters' roles, capacities, and importance are in no way diminished, but some parts of the story that have the most action and drama (e.g., the chandelier falling or the masquerade ball) aren't illustrated. Fisher's cartoonish art belies the dark, serious side of the story and oversimplifies some of its key points.-Robert A. Zupperoli, Warren Harding High School, Bridgeport, CT (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
For public readings, Dickens chose several tragic episodes from his novel and relieved them with comic scenes. Although the book provides an introduction to Dickens's longer work, the lighter incidents seem disconnected and assume some knowledge of the entire text. Marks's watercolors dramatically complement the narrative. From HORN BOOK 1995, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A more or less self-contained excerpt from the novel, in a creative abridgement done by Dickens for one of his public readings (Anthea Bell's afterword provides notes about these performances and the texts Dickens prepared for them). The fragile pen-and-ink drawings have been flooded with watercolor and given a smudged, atmospheric look. Marks (The Fisherman and His Wife, 1991, etc.) zeroes in on the basic dramatic premise of each scene--wet and dark exteriors, warm and dry interiors, characters engaged in lively conversation or sending each other meaningful looks. Marks's storytelling skills are further demonstrated by the different sizes of the pictures, their distribution, and layout--on the whole, they evocatively conjure this hearty tale, and will send readers off to the original. (Picture book. 8-12)
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.