Adapted Classics Blog

Illustrations Enhance the Appeal of Classic Stories

The idea was that we would add illustrations to classic stories to enhance their appeal. Middle-grade readers would see the books on a library or classroom shelf, fan the pages, see the vivid, often humorous illustrations, and give the old stories a try. The stylish prose in finely crafted stories by master authors would then captivate middle-grade readers. They would attain a greater interest  in the language of their lives – that which they hear and speak and write. And literature! Our thin, little books with illustrations might be the first plunge many middle-grade readers take into the deep world of literature. The[…] Read More

Arthur Rackham v. Marc Johnson-Pencook

Arthur Rackham (September 19. 1867 – September 6, 1939) was one of the pre-eminent illustrators in what is known as “The Golden Age of Illustration”. This age was primarily a British phenomena. It lasted about 30 years, roughly from 1890 until 1920. Arthur Rackham’s art work, at first in pen and ink only but soon in color as well, graced many books for children from 1893 right up until his death in 1939. In the “Tales of Mystery and Imagination”, the Poe collection referenced in our February 1st blog, he contributed 40 illustrations, 12 in color and 28 in pen and ink.[…] Read More

Is Edgar Allan Poe’s Hop-Frog safe for kids?

Is Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe safe for kids? One of the factors that persuaded us to include Hop-Frog in the Adapted Classics collection was its inclusion in “Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination”. George G Harrap & Co. Ltd  published that volume of illustrated, unadapted Poe stories in 1935. The Harrap Company specialized in publishing educational books, but they also published many illustrated books for children. So we don’t think we presumed too much when we decided to publish our version of Edgar Allan Poe’s Hop-Frog. After all, a noted major publisher found Hop-Frog and other Poe tales safe for children[…] Read More

Is Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe too much for kids?

Leave it to Edgar Allan Poe to stir up a controversy. Some adult readers of Hop-Frog believe the story is unsuitable for our main target audience, middle-school readers. No doubt, Hop-Frog is a disturbing tale. It is unlike all the other books in the Adapted Classics collection to date, all of which contain at least an ample amount of humor (and that includes  Edgar Allan Poe’s Thou Art the Man). Nothing Funny about Hop-Frog There is nothing funny about Hop-Frog. It is a story about maltreatment and revenge. And true to Poe’s typical story-telling mode, the climax of the story[…] Read More