cover image Annabel Lee

Annabel Lee

Edgar Allan Poe. Tundra Books (NY), $19.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-88776-200-0

Tibo's interpretation of Poe's well-known poem portrays a fisherman's son sharing the joys of the coast with a playmate who dies and is borne away by a ghostly schooner. (The book's flaps imply that she was imaginary, although the text and art themselves do not dictate a single, unambiguous reading.) The full-page, airbrush illustrations are strikingly beautiful, full of mood and mystery. They are most powerful in the scenes following Annabel's demise, where they suggest the commingling of loss, loneliness and memory, and where the play of moonlight on the sea and land is truly haunting. Earlier scenes, still appealing, have less emotional impact. The figures in them have mannequin-like faces; and the girl appears fully corporeal, without the aura of otherworldliness that attends the poem and the later illustrations. Ages 12-up. (October)