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Adapted Classics Blog

Jerome Tiller, Author at Adapted ClassicsBlog Posts

The classic literature debate rages – let us illustrate

 A 2016 conducted by the BBC asked people to name the books that every child should read. Apparently, the results were not surprising. They included a large number of books considered ‘classic’. However, Diana Gerald, the CEO of “Book Trust”, the largest reading charity in Great Britain, did weigh-in with a somewhat surprising opinion regarding the results of the poll. Her opinion included the suggestion that adults should encourage children to read modern books. She believes they are just as brilliant as classic literature. Furthermore, she believes they are more pertinent to the lives of children and written in language that[…] Read More

Three Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Three Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne is the subtitle for Hawthorne Illustrated. However, no real need for a subtitle since the main title, Hawthorne Illustrated, unlike our upcoming Poe Illustrated, stands unique in the book publishing world. And to demonstrate that, if you were to search the Internet for Hawthorne illustrated, you will find our book prominently displayed at the top of the first page of results for that inquiry. Hooray, as far as that goes. Although Hawthorne Illustrated is free from titling competition, we oddly consider this unfortunate. Some publisher should have created an Illustrated Hawthorne book long before ours.[…] Read More

Three (Classic) Stories by Edgar Allan Poe

Three Stories by Edgar Allan Poe is the subtitle for Poe Illustrated, the upcoming addition to our Adapted Classics collection. (We inserted (classic) above to remind you they are all “classic” stories). We feel we need to mention the subtitle of our Poe Illustrated since there are other Poe Illustrated books out there. I believe all of them are “graphic stories”, identical to” graphic novels” in structure. If so, that sets them apart from all the stories we publish in our Adapted Classics collection. In our collection, we fit illustrations to complete (though slightly modified) narratives of the classic stories[…] Read More

Coming Attraction – Edgar Allan Poe Illustrated Stories

Coming soon, more Edgar Allan Poe illustrated classic stories, attraction guaranteed. That’s because Poe is who he is – master of the macabre, inventor of the detective story, and a sower of sly humor throughout all of his works.  Transcending obsolescence, Poe’s prose skillfully transports delightful sound and vivid sights into the ears and minds of modern readers, from middle school on. And his stories still greatly entertain. Normal middle school readers everywhere enjoy Poe’s abnormal stories for reasons that paranormal psychologists might understand even if you and I don’t. And that’s okay with me – I don’t mind. Nor,[…] Read More

A Classic Color Conundrum—Creation in Black & White

A classic color conundum – creation in black and white as depicted in Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam – is forcing the color debate upon us. This particular Adapted Classics book raises the question whether the natural beauty of creation can be properly represented with black and white illustrations.  No, said a panel of judges in a contest we entered for best illustrated book of 2018. You can’t expect a reader to use his or her mind’s eye to add color to pen and ink illustrations of creation scenes, even if they are described in colorful prose by Mr.[…] Read More

Marc Johnson-Pencook—Master Pen & Ink Illustrator

Marc Johnson-Pencook, master pen & ink illustrator, has rendered all the art so far in our Adapted Classics collection of illustrated books for middle-school readers. We hope we can provide much more work for him going forward. Heaven knows, we are more than satisfied with his interpretation and rendering of characters and scenes in the seven classic stories we have adapted (eight, if we count our two-stories-in-one adaptation of Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam).  The art-bug bit Marc when he was a young boy, and Marc has been biting back ever since. Literally. Although the Adapted Classics[…] Read More

Illustrated Classic Literature, Without Hue, is Natural

Illustrated classic literature, without hue, is natural. Yet I have heard fifty complaints about the hue-less illustrations in our adapted classics collection of illustrated literature for middle school readers. Modern youth demand colorful images, so why do we insist on peddling books with black and white, i.e.; pen and ink illustrations? Color is nice. We live in a world of color, and I’m glad that we do. But when we first set out to adapt classic stories for illustration, we immediately decided to illustrate the stories without color. That’s because, had these stories been illustrated when written many decades ago,[…] Read More

Hawthorne’s Illustrated Literature Not So Popular

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s illustrated classic literature is not so popular, but why not so much? Doesn’t he write perfectly poetical english prose? Why yes he does! And doesn’t he write scenes and characters that make surreal imagery flash to the mind and flow from the pen of master illustrator Marc Johnson-Pencook? Yes indeed—he does that too!  Middle-school readers should check out Hawthorne’s illustrated classic literature by viewing samples of his stories at Amazon and Apple Books, then plug him to middle school teachers who may have temporarily forgotten who Nathaniel Hawthorne is. He is truly great. And Marc Johnson-Pencook? He’s great[…] Read More

Mark Twain’s Carnival of Crime Exaggeration (Redux)

A carnival of Mark Twain exaggerations is on full display in one of our Adapted Classics stories, “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut”. You can now find digital versions of this irreverent tale at both Apple Books and Amazon. If you are reluctant to spend a coupla bucks to test your tolerance or taste for Twain’s irreverence, both sites offer a preview of the book before you make an investment.  This story would be a useful tool for showing middle school students how exaggeration works as humor. It would also be useful in a lesson that contrasts[…] Read More

Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment Deserves it’s Classroom Reputation

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s’ Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment deserves it’s reputation as a good story for students to analyze in the classroom. Because I knew about it’s great reputation with secondary educators, I chose it to be the first book in our Adapted Classics collection. But I only partly chose it because its great reputation. It also suits my personal taste. And, most importantly, it perfectly fits all the criteria I set for selecting classic stories for adaptation. I include a story’s pictorial quality—how well it will carry illustrations—as a major criterion. And wow—does this Hawthorne story illustrate well!  Marc Johnson-Pencook, with great[…] Read More