Review Blog

Jun 23 2011

Essential Classics retold by Pauline Francis

cover image

Evans Publishing, 2010.
It is no small ambition to take the great classics of western literature and make them accessible to today's young readers. Pauline Francis has succeeded in doing just that in this charming series reducing plot, theme and character to their essence and maintaining the threads of these complex tales. Presented in an easy read format and beautifully produced with detailed air-brush style illustrations by Gary Andrews. As an introduction to the classics of fiction these little books will enhance any school collection adding a new dimension to the Quick Read collection in the library or as class sets for Year 8 students. They give access to works that children may never come across and may succeed in inspiring readers to go on to read the original works. Presented with a glossary of terms and a Test Yourself quiz at the end English teachers will find them a great asset in encouraging a love of reading. Students may need some guidance in understanding some of the concepts in the texts and the short biography of the authors which introduce the stories will help readers to understand the stories in their historical contexts. I really enjoyed reading the selection and was transported back in time to when I first discovered Robinson Crusoe, Frankenstein and the brave dog Buck in Call of the Wild. A must have series.
Trisha Walker

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