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The Birthday Of The Infanta
by Oscar Wilde
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Gr. 5^-8. Russell, a well-known name in the comics-graphic novel universe, has made several other graphic novels out of well-known stories. Here, he transmutes Wilde's darkly sardonic tale, using much of Wilde's abundantly rich language. The Infanta, on her twelfth birthday, is a spoiled princess who resembles the famous Velazquez painting "Las Meninas." Her father, the king, still broods over her mother's death, but for the birthday celebration, dancing bears and Gypsies and jousts are brought out for her entertainment. So also is a little dwarf (who looks like the cartoon version of Quasimodo as a boy), whose dancing amuses the princess and the crowd, for he is misshapen and ugly. The princess gives him the white rose from her hair, and he searches the palace when she departs, looking for her. But the sight of himself in a mirror breaks his heart, and he dies. "For the future let those who come to play with me have no hearts," proclaims the princess when she learns that he died of a broken heart. The art, in classic comics-graphic novel style, has the text in word balloons and the full-color pictures in frames, with expressive line and acid color, full of visual references. Older children will appreciate the edgy story and the mouth-filling language as well as the format. GraceAnne A. DeCandido
One of comic art¹s most respected and pioneering artists, well known for his opera adaptations and beautiful fantasy work, P. Craig Russell is in the process of adapting Oscar Wilde¹s famous fairy tales in a series of landmark volumes.
Card catalog description
A grotesque dwarf falls in love with the beautiful Infanta.
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