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Written by Metaphrog

Illustrated by Metaphrog

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Bluebeard Review

Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Graphic Novels & Comics Traditional Tales

The dark, unsettling story of Bluebeard retold in a glowing, atmospheric graphic novel

Shortlisted for the Excelsior Award White 9+ KS2

Created by artist duo Metaphrog, this version of the chilling story of Bluebeard plunges readers into a vivid fairytale world that swaps idyll for nightmare with the turn of a page. Eve’s dreams of a future with her childhood sweetheart Tom end when she is chosen by Bluebeard to be his wife. Her neighbours in the village are suspicious of him and believe the forest around his castle is enchanted but his wealth and apparent generosity win them and Eve’s family over. Trapped in his castle with its labyrinth of corridors and locked doors, Eve eventually finds herself at the room she’s been told never to enter and discovers her husband’s terrible secret. In this version, Metaphrog allow her a sister to help in her trial and the chance to win her happy ending. With a palette of brooding purples and blues and luminous reds, orange and pink - sunsets and sunrises - the book perfectly balanced menace and beauty in a story that will entrance readers of all ages.

Andrea Reece

Other Info

“Bluebeard is one of the darkest fairy tales”, said Metaphrog,”and resonated with us when we were children because of this darkness. It felt necessary to create a feminist retelling and so we developed our heroine’s backstory to highlight her struggles in the patriarchy. We hope the result is a compelling, suspenseful read. Bluebeard is seldom seen in children’s books nowadays and has never been adapted into a graphic novel, and we wanted our version to appeal to adults and children alike.”


Also from this talented team;

The Little Mermaid

The Red Shoes And Other Tales

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Bluebeard Synopsis

From award winning writing duo, Metaphrog comes the classic story of Blue Beard. 

Eve spends an idyllic childhood of long summer days with her sweetheart Tom, and together they dream of exploring the world. But that dream is soon shattered as she comes of age. The mysterious Bluebeard is looking for a new bride and has his sights set on Eve, and rumor has it that his former wives have all disappeared. What will Eve find in the castle beyond the enchanted forest?

A forbidden chamber, a golden key and the most terrifying secret, take on a new life in this gothic graphic novel.

Bluebeard Press Reviews

This is perfect in every way. A beautifully told tale.  - Charlie Adlard, The Walking Dead

Bluebeard's beating heart lay in its unsettling glow, guiding in silhouette, patiently leading to mystery’s core. Haunting for young and old alike. - Nate Powell, National Book Award Winner of March

Metaphrog’s books have always been charming but this one explores new territory of warmth and mystery.  – Michel Faber, The Crimson Petal and the White

Set in a dreamlike world, expertly painted with colour, texture, menace and beauty, this retelling of Bluebeard is a page-turner from the start and delivers on all fronts in the very best traditions of fairytale storytelling.  - Frank Quitely, All-Star Superman

A feast for the eyes and fuel for the imagination, I devoured Metaphrog’s feminist fairytale take on Bluebeard in one sitting. It has all the ingredients of a tale well-told.”   – Philip Ardagh, children’s author

This is wonderful.   Denis Mina, crime writer, Conviction

Metaphrog’s illustrations glow with fluorescent intensity, and the saturated imagery conveys murderous suspense.  - Publishers Weekly

The stylized illustrations have a soft quality that contrasts with the characters’ exaggerated expressions. Spreads and panels that predominantly feature blues and pinks seem to correspond with Bluebeard and pink-haired Eve, respectively. - Kirkus

Every page of the work is beautiful and dreamlike, rich in atmosphere for what is tantamount to a horror story. The artists make expert use of color: red and orange hues indicate happiness and good times, while blue is used to illustrate frightened animals and the ominous corners of Bluebeard’s mansion. Shifts from red to purple foreshadow events to come, as does Eve’s narration: “some insects spend their whole lives not realizing they have wings. Not realizing they can fly.” Eve learns to take hold of her fate and soar in this gorgeous adaptation. -Foreword

In a book of berry-bright colours, predominantly luminous deep pink and blue, the images of heroic Eve and Tom the goat boy stand out, weighty and rich, as though they might feel braided to the touch. -  The Times Literary Supplement, Imogen Russell Williams

Glasgow-based creators John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs continue their all-ages reinvention of fairy tales with this smart, beautifully rendered feminist take on one of the darkest of them all  – The Herald Scotland Best Graphic Novels of 2020

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781545804124
Publication date: 30/06/2020
Publisher: Papercutz
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781545804124
Publication date: 30th June 2020
Author: Metaphrog
Illustrator: Metaphrog
Publisher: Papercutz
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 176 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical, Graphic Novels & Comics, Traditional Tales

About Metaphrog

  Metaphrog are John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs, award-winning graphic novelists.They have received multiple Eisner Award nominations and critical acclaim for their Louis series, and Louis – Night Salad was Highly Commended for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2011. As well as working on their own graphic novels, they have produced an array of illustrations and commissions, and travel extensively to talk about their work and the creative process at festivals, schools, libraries and museums. They are Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy in Aberdeen and were writers in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015.

More About Metaphrog

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