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Author: Chwast, Seymour
A man learns to talk to animals and becomes their champion around the world, in this graphic novel retelling of Hugh Lofting's Story of Doctor Dolittle.
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/15)
School Library Journal (10/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 Gr 2–5—Legendary cartoonist Chwast adapts and illustrates Lofting's classic first "Doctor Dolittle" novel, published in Britain in 1920. Stripping the story to its bare bones, slightly modernizing the setting, and formatting the tale in panels to please graphic novel lovers, this updated version introduces the story to a generation of children—and adults—who may never have heard of it, let alone read it. A good thing, too. The controversial racist elements in the original are happily omitted, but the retelling also exposes the thinness of the plot. Though young readers may be charmed by the talking-to-animals premise and fantastic story line, they'll find no drama or tension here, and the dialogue and ending are flat. Still, the good doctor's love of and concern for animals comes through. The illustrator's signature style is the real draw, with the humorous penciled drawings, rendered in soft, muted colors, expertly capturing the whimsical nature of the piece. Plenty of white space makes for a clean, not overly busy look. Hand-lettered captions, speech bubbles, and chapter headings add to the child-friendly visual appeal. VERDICT This spare version might encourage some readers to seek out the novel and its sequels. Young picture book aficionados will enjoy it, too. Recommended for large public library collections.—Carol Goldman, Queens Library, NY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2015 Graphic designer Chwast brings his eclectic vision to Hugh Lofting’s classic novel in this graphic adaptation. Intended to update the original story for a twenty-first-century audience, Chwast’s take condenses each chapter of the original into a handful of comic panels, retaining only the major themes and plot points. Using his distinctive art style, Chwast employs bold illustrations to carry the story, although readers not familiar with the original novel in its broader context may find the stripped-down narrative somewhat disjointed. Ample white space amplifies the candy-colored hues throughout the book, and the ink-and-crayon palette works in tandem with the simple, childlike drawing. Varying panel sizes and creative use of space help create energy, offsetting the sometimes static characters. Although the visual treatment is certainly modern, traces of Lofting’s colonial perspective remain intact and may be jarring to contemporary readers. Idiosyncratic almost to the point of absurdity, this will appeal to readers who enjoy the offbeat and unusual. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.