Tuesday, November 27, 2007

serious eeep!-age

Look what just showed up in my email!!!!
OH!! sweeeeet!

Out Now: Classical Comics’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V

Classical Comics is a new UK-based independent publishing outfit with a unique approach to publishing great works of literature in an accessible, reader-friendly graphic format.

Their first two titles, Shakespeare's Henry V [Amazon and Macbeth [Amazon] are both being published in three separate editions, with identical illustrations across all three, but different interpretations of the text: 'original', 'plain' and 'quick'.

In a press release, Classical Comics' Karen Wenborn explains the concept: "Having been told by young readers that they were bored by the Bard, Classical Comics set out to make Shakespeare as energetic and colourful as Spider-Man.

"With literacy levels in schools, and amongst school-leavers, at an all time low, Classical Comics has devised a revolutionary three-tier dialogue approach as an invaluable classroom teaching tool. Each book is published in three versions: Original Text – the full, unabridged script; Plain Text – a modern English version of the original script; and Quick Text – with reduced, simplified dialogue for easier and faster reading."

Clive Bryant of Classical Comics explains further: "We wanted to spread a joy and appreciation of literacy, and particularly to target readers in key stages 2 and 3. Often children of that age are forced to read Shakespeare, but they struggle to get past the language.

"The comic book format and three text versions will undoubtedly help with their understanding. By providing these three text versions, which are all on the same artwork, we allow a reader to absorb the story at Quick Text level, proceed onto Plain English, and then onto the Original script. That way, they understand the play and can appreciate the beautiful language that Shakespeare used.

"We believe that we've created a way for readers to enjoy these fantastic stories regardless of their age or their reading ability."

Karen continues: "Not wanting to patronise its readers, and mindful of the sanctity of the original text, Classical Comics carried out a large amount of research to arrive at the right approach with its books.

"The response from teachers, parents and young people themselves has been extremely positive; three schools - Olveston Primary School, Gloucestershire, Ingleton Middle School, Lancashire and City of Ely Community College, Cambridgeshire - are currently road testing the books. Teaching resources, in the form of both hard-copy ready-made lesson plans for teachers, and interactive whiteboard toolkits, are available to accompany each book."

Four more titles have been scheduled for publication later in 2008, with each being made available in an abridged Original Text and Quick Text versions:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (EEEP!)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

And there's plenty more information on the whole project at www.classicalcomics.com.

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