Robert Ingpen's dramatic full-color, full-page and spot illustrations seem to reinvent Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Even readers intimate with the great adventure tale of young Jim Hawkins's search for buried riches will feel they haven't met Captain Long John Silver or the marooned Ben Gunn until they spy Ingpen's portraits here. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Gr 5-8-In this Marvel Comics six-part retelling of Stevenson's tale, the mood is intense and the plot is fast moving. Young Jim Hawkins and his family, owners of the Admiral Benbow Inn, are immediately ill at ease when wretched pirate Billy Bones (former member of the crew under the unsavory Captain Flint) unexpectedly arrives for an extended stay. In his possession is a mysterious sea chest. When Billy dies of a stroke, Jim and his mother open the chest to discover a map and plan a voyage to find the treasure, escaping just before Billy's vile former shipmates arrive. The untrustworthy Long John Silver is hired as the ship's cook, and he brings aboard a number of former Flint shipmates. Things soon get ugly as the search intensifies, putting Jim in harm's way. The antiquated dialogue, while lending authenticity, may prove difficult for some less-experienced readers to follow. The plot also occasionally moves a bit too quickly (no doubt a result of the length restrictions that comics impose), leaving readers to do some reading between the lines to keep up with the action. The comic-book-style illustrations serviceably match the text, adding a good deal of clarity. The competent layout and panel structure make for smooth reading. Although an additional purchase, Treasure Island is an overall adequate retelling of a classic tale.-Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.