cover image Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Selfish Giant and the Star Child

Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Selfish Giant and the Star Child

P. Craig Russell, Craig P. Russell. Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing, $15.95 (2pp) ISBN 978-1-56163-056-1

This is the first of a five-volume series of Russell's adaptations of Oscar Wilde's fairy tales into a comics format. The two retellings here, The Selfish Giant and The Star Child , adeptly capture Wilde's ability to bring a gentle, unexpected note of pathos to the conventional fairy-tale mix of anthropomorphic fantasy and whimsical moral guidance. In The Selfish Giant , the eponymous creature kicks a bunch of frolicking youngsters out of his garden, only to find that frosty winter moves in to take their place, refusing to leave because of his selfishness. In The Star Child, a beautiful but mean , narcissistic boy becomes physically repulsive when he rebuffs a ragged beggar who turns out to be his long lost mother. Russell matches Wilde's literary skills with his estimable artistic talent. His colors are brilliant and pure; his linework sure and fluid, at once cartoonlike and elegantly representational, reflecting both his art-nouveau and pre-Raphaelite influences and the inherent charm of Wilde's material. Ages 5-up. (Nov.)