Book Title: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller; Shapeshifters
Book Description: In this story from Jim Henson’s Storyteller, we start off with the old man IE the storyteller, telling his dog about the reed people. Which at first glance seems to start off in a simpler time. The main character of the story starts off as a child named Rose, who loves to dance. After being chased by a skunk Rose comes to a clearing by a creek and hears music, up investigating the music, Rose see’s a group of children dancing in a circle. She becomes fast friends with all of them, dancing and singing until her mother calls for her. As she turns around to introduce her new found friends to her mother, the new found friends disappear, becoming reeds of grass… Life goes on and Rose continues to dance with her new found friends that only she can see, eventually becoming a professional ballerina, one that earns high praise and prestige. After a performance she returns to her childhood home to see her mother, but also returns to see the childhood friends, showing a clear indication that the childhood friends whom only she can still see have grown with her. While Rose preforms a brief show for her reed grass friends, she in turn askes them to teach her the old dances, which seem to be based on ancestrial tradition. After dancing abit with her friends she returns late for dinner and shows her mother the new dances that she has just learned. As time passes on we next see the main character Rose dealing with the loss of her mother, where she once again returns to the creek where her reed friends once lived, and discovers they are gone as well… Continuing the career path of Ballet, she managed to make a nice life for herself, but with time comes age, and with age comes health concerns and we next see Rose in a nursing home where her friends from the creek once again greet her, and invite her to join them. Where she eventually spends the remainder of her existance.
Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG
Writer: Dancie Little Badger
Art: Alexandra Fastovets
Letters: Jim Campbell
Colored: James Fenner
Cover: Quistina Khalidah
Editor: Allyson Gronowitz
Story: 3.8 Stars
Interior Artwork: 3.7 Stars
Cover Artwork: 3.7 Stars
Dialogue: 3.8 Stars
Mechanics: 3.2 Stars
Editing: 3.0 Stars
This is a wonderful story has alot going for it. The first is the cover artwork, at first glance it feels mystical and fairy like and is pleasing to the eye. The direction of the eye instantly draws your attention to the dancing figure, and tells you exactly what this book is about at a glance, while not giving the details away. With out the required text being that this is a book, I can see this cover artwork being something that would wonderfully adorn a wall as decoration.
The interior artwork is well done and is kind of two different styles. The first style is that of the Storyteller and his dog. Following the style from the first book it holds consistancy well and is pleasing to the eye, and has a relaxing feel to it. The bulk of the story seems to be a little more roughed out but is not a distraction in the least, the natural colors make a nice blend with the story, and has a slight water paint feel to it. But is still great to look at.
The lettering through out the story has two points of view attatched to it, that of the Storyteller, who is telling the story to his dog, and that of the life of Rose. It is well balanced and is easy to follow, all the while making sure to not be a distraction from the interior art in the process. While at the same time does a great job of making sure there is a difference between actions, and speaking.
The story itself is a wonderful story that I think highlights a point that is being lost, time passes on but some traditions should never beforgotten. This is a wonderful story of true friendship and the love of dance. While nothing is specificly stated it also indicates that it has a native american base to it. While I see absolutely nothing wrong with that, I feel that the base of the story can be applied to many peoples and cultures.
At one point in the story the mother states to a now adult Rose “Who shared this Knowledge? I thought it was lost.”, and I think this is the overall point the story is trying to make. Wonderful things that are not passed down to the younger generations are lost forever. This is all something that we can learn from and try to remember.
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May the historical documents of the imagination always inspire! Thanks for reading!
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