Posted in Animal Fiction, Graphic Novels, Humor, Tween Reads

The Stratford Zoo brings Shakespeare to younger readers!

Stratford ZooThe Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth, by Ian Lendler/illus. by Zack Giallongo (:01 First Second, Sept. 2014). $12.99, ISBN: 9781596439153

Recommended for ages 8-12

The Stratford Zoo looks your ordinary, everyday zoo – until the Zoo closes for business and the animals gather for some downtime. This particular evening, the Midnight Revue is putting on a play – Shakespeare’s Macbeth – with the lion, naturally, playing the part of the Dane King. What follows is an wildly funny graphic novel that offers younger readers the chance to enjoy the story of Macbeth, where Macbeth must eat the king, and where blood is replaced by ketchup (you can’t eat a king – or a host of people that stand in your way to the throne – without some kind of condiment, right?).

The story is just plain fun, with bits and pieces of Shakespeare thrown in for good effect. The play is presented, with an intermission when the zookeeper walks her rounds. There’s audience commentary and heckling. There are panels and splash pages, and the colors are bright and engaging. I loved this book, and can’t wait to get it on my shelves. It’s a great addition to any graphic novel collection, and for children’s service librarians like myself, a great way to expand our graphic novel sections. Using Shakespeare’s story, and including quotes and scenarios is perfect for teachers looking for a way to incorporate some fun into their Common Core ELA lesson plans.

I can’t wait to see what the Zoo manages for their next performance – but I’ll let you read to the end to find that one out.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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