It was meant to be: The classic fantasy adventure that began the Redwall phenomenon is finally available in a cool graphic format. Illustrated by renowned comics artist Bret Blevins, Redwall: The Graphic Novel brings to life all the battles, all the heroes, and all the villains in a fun new format perfect for reluctant readers, those just entering the Redwall world, or the countless existing fans of the series.
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"I sometimes think it ironic for an ex-seaman, longshoreman, truck driver, policeman, bus driver, etc., to find success writing children's novels," says Brian Jacques (pronounced "Jakes"). Yet it is all too true. With the publication of his first children's book in 1987, the award-winning Redwall, Jacques' fresh talent has received exceptional praise from reviewers in the United States and England. Newbery Award winner Lloyd Alexander called it "a fine work, literate, witty, filled with the excitement of genuine storytelling. Young people will surely be captivated. I hope they give their elders a chance to share the delights."
A well-known radio personality in his native Liverpool--as well as an actor, stand-up comic, and playwright--Brian Jacques is the host of "Jakestown" on BBC Radio Merseyside. Ever the performer, Jacques is well-known for applying his acting and entertainment background to his lively presentations to legions of young fans at schools across the United States and England.
Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, England on June 15th, 1939. Along with forty percent of the population of Liverpool, his ancestral roots are in Ireland, County Cork to be exact.
He grew up in the area around the Liverpool docks. His interest in adventure stories began at an early age with reading the books of: Daniel Defoe, Sir Henry Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Thomas Malory, Robert Michael Ballantyne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Kenneth Grahame. He attended St. John's School, an inner city school that had its playground on the roof. On his first day at St. John's, at the age of ten, he had an experience that marked his potential as a writer. When given an assignment of writing a story about animals, he wrote about the bird that cleaned a crocodile's teeth. The teacher could not, and would not, believe that a ten year old could write that well. When young Brian refused to falsely say that he had copied the story, he was caned as "a liar". He had always loved to write, but it was only then, that he realized that he had a talent for writing.
Some teachers at St. John's proved to be good role models. As Mr. Jacques recalls:
"My favourite teacher was Mr. Austin Thomas. He looked like Lee Marvin. Big Man. A Captain in World War II. He came to school on a big bush bike with the haversack on back. He was a man's man. Always fair. I was fourteen at the time when Mr. Thomas introduced the class to poetry and Greek literature. (Because of him, I saved seven shillings and sixpence to buy The Iliad and The Odyssey at this dusty used book shop.)"
This interest in poetry extended to Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Goldsmith.It was also at St. John's that Brian met a teacher, Alan Durband (who also taught two Beatles, Paul McCartney and George Harrison), who, more than thirty years later would bring about a major change in his life.
After Brian finished school at fifteen, he set out to find adventure as a merchant seaman. He travelled to many far away ports, including New York, Valparaiso, San Francisco, and Yokohama. Tiring of the lonely life of a sailor, he returned to Liverpool where he worked as a railway fireman, a longshoreman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a bobby (Police Constable 216D), a postmaster, and a stand-up comic.
Penguin mourns the passing of celebrated children’s book author Brian JacquesFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 4 Up—When Redwall Abbey is attacked by Cluny the rat's army, Matthias the mouse follows the example of Martin the Warrior and becomes a hero. Fans of the novel will want to see if villains like Cluny the Scourge and Asmodeus Poisonteeth live up to their imaginations, while new readers will enjoy visiting Redwall for the first time. The adaptation of the novel is excellent; even this condensed form captures the spirit and the language of the original. The graphic-novel format makes the action accessible to younger readers, who will be able to join the ranks of fans who love Matthias the mouse, Constance the badger, and the rest of the Redwall supporters. The story is a page-turner, and the detailed black-and-white drawings capture both the passion and the pathos. Characters on both sides are injured and killed; the violence is realistic but not graphic. By the end of the book, readers will be cheering for Matthias as he uses both his brawn and his brains to defeat his enemies and become the champion of Redwall.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
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Book Description Paw Prints 2007-11-05, 2007. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # BKTY9781435218390
Book Description Paw Prints, 2007. PBD. Book Condition: Brand New. reprint edition. 9.25x6.00x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 1435218396
Book Description Paw Prints 2007-11-05, 2007. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111435218396