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Anna Sewell's Black Beauty : the graphic novel

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A handsome and sweet-tempered horse, Black Beauty is strong and spirited. His mother warns him that there are bad, cruel men in the world, but Black Beauty sees none of it in his fine, happy home. Until the day when he is sold, when his life changes immeasurably and he finally sees the truth in his mother's words. As he moves from master to master, Beauty's adventures will A handsome and sweet-tempered horse, Black Beauty is strong and spirited. His mother warns him that there are bad, cruel men in the world, but Black Beauty sees none of it in his fine, happy home. Until the day when he is sold, when his life changes immeasurably and he finally sees the truth in his mother's words. As he moves from master to master, Beauty's adventures will captivate readers, and June Brigman's wonderful illustrations will capture their imaginations.


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A handsome and sweet-tempered horse, Black Beauty is strong and spirited. His mother warns him that there are bad, cruel men in the world, but Black Beauty sees none of it in his fine, happy home. Until the day when he is sold, when his life changes immeasurably and he finally sees the truth in his mother's words. As he moves from master to master, Beauty's adventures will A handsome and sweet-tempered horse, Black Beauty is strong and spirited. His mother warns him that there are bad, cruel men in the world, but Black Beauty sees none of it in his fine, happy home. Until the day when he is sold, when his life changes immeasurably and he finally sees the truth in his mother's words. As he moves from master to master, Beauty's adventures will captivate readers, and June Brigman's wonderful illustrations will capture their imaginations.

30 review for Anna Sewell's Black Beauty : the graphic novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Now for a graphic novel adaptation of Anna Sewell's classic Black Beauty June Brigman and Roy Richardson have done a pretty decent job keeping intact almost ALL of the important scenarios essential to the original plot line and story (although of course, as this is a graphic novel and abridgement, leaving out much of the descriptive filler or rather, I should say, often rendering what is verbal description and expansion with Anna Sewell into visuals, into illustrations, something that I have ind Now for a graphic novel adaptation of Anna Sewell's classic Black Beauty June Brigman and Roy Richardson have done a pretty decent job keeping intact almost ALL of the important scenarios essential to the original plot line and story (although of course, as this is a graphic novel and abridgement, leaving out much of the descriptive filler or rather, I should say, often rendering what is verbal description and expansion with Anna Sewell into visuals, into illustrations, something that I have indeed found interesting and definitely readable, but as a primarily textual and verbal reader, I do still if truth be told much prefer reading about Black Beauty in a novel than in a graphic novel format). And furthermore, for someone with ageing eyes, I definitely and in fact do oh so much wish that the presented text in Anna Sewell's Black Beauty: The Graphic Novel were a bit thicker and penned in a larger font size, as even with my reading glasses, I am experiencing some rather annoying eyestrain (and actually had a bit of a headache last night after having finished). Nevertheless, for an illustrated adaptation of a children's literature classic, Anna Sewell's Black Beauty: The Graphic Novel has definitely been most enjoyable, eye-opening, enlightening, and yes indeed also almost equal to perusing Anna Sewell's original (but with the in my opinion very much necessary caveat that if you have found reading about Black Beauty's many trials and tribulations emotionally hard and devastating, you might actually find visually seeing illustrations of the same, but especially the pictures of Ginger's death and of horses being overworked, brutally whipped, falling, bleeding much more emotionally traumatic than actually only reading about them without accompanying illustrations). And following is my original review for Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, as because June Brigman's and Roy Richardson's Anna Sewell's Black Beauty: The Graphic Novel is such a good and delightfully loyal adaptation to the original novel, ALL of my musings on and regarding the content and themes depicted in Anna Sewell's original narrative, they do one hundred percent pertain almost equally to this here graphic novel version of the same. Anna Sewell's evocative, poignant and yes, often devastatingly brutal autobiography of a horse is a novel which even though I very much and dearly cherish and appreciate (and consider even somewhat of a favourite), I am also glad to have first read as an adult, and not as a child. Horses being amongst my favourite animals, particularly Black Beauty's trials and tribulations, his often neglectful and at times even deliberately cruelly abusive grooms and owners, the fact that there are also horses depicted who succumb, who perish due to abuse and neglect (Ginger's suffering and death are especially sad, heartbreaking and infuriating), all this would have likely been much too saddening for my sensitive childhood self (I would thus not automatically recommend Black Beauty for younger children, and would strongly encourage parents and caregivers to pre-read the novel, to check if the subject matter could perhaps not be too much for very sensitive children, especially children who are vegetarian or vegan). As an adult (I first read Black Beauty at around age twenty or so), I can not only appreciate both Beauty's life-story, but also (and perhaps even more) the historical fact that Anna Sewell's masterpiece (written with pathos, understanding, humanity, but also with gentleness and tenderness) actually had a profound socially relevant effect in so far that particularly in Great Britain, there was a move started to make life easier and less strenuous, less harsh for especially work and carriage horses (the eventual banning of the bearing reign which caused horses' heads to basically be yanked into a permanently unnaturally high position, and the even more horrid docking, cutting of horses' tails were two of the most well-known and necessary changes brought about partially due to the popularity of Black Beauty and the public outcry its publication engendered). Black Beauty is in many ways a narrator who thinks and feels as a human being, albeit he is also not a typical anthropomorphic human-like entity, as he cannot speak, and still looks, moves and acts like a typical horse. And this is actually the case with most of the other horse characters described, as Ginger, Merrylegs, even Beauty's own mother all think and emote as humans would, with their thoughts and musings presented, but always they do act and react like typical horses, not like horses in a humanoid costume, a for me profound and appreciated consideration, as I have never truly enjoyed very anthropomorphic animals all that much, especially if they act not according to their nature, but according to how humans would act and react (thus, if Black Beauty were to have actually spoken aloud, if he had been depicted as a quasi talking horse, I would definitely not have enjoyed his story quite as much). Considering that Anna Sewell was an invalid since an accident at age fourteen, and often confined to her bed (in almost constant, often excruciating pain for most of her adult life, she died soon after Black Beauty's publication), the themes and also the writing style are exquisite and nuanced, balanced, showing not only abuse and neglect, but also equally demonstrating tenderness, joy and much happiness (Beauty's life with his mother and original aristocratic owners, even his first sojourn as a London cab horse are happy, the latter being a rather hard working existence perhaps, but with a kind and thoughtful owner/driver who as much as possible strives to ease the often difficult conditions Beauty faces, until he himself falls ill due to thoughtless aristocratic customers keeping the carriage waiting in the pelting rain and snow, as they arrogantly enjoy society's extravagances). And while Anna Sewell's masterpiece does, indeed, hold very clear and powerful pleas for a change in attitudes towards horses, towards poverty, it is nevertheless Black Beauty's own story that shines through (Black Beauty is thus not simply preachiness, and while the messages are obvious and thankfully strongly and impassionately presented, the plot, the themes, the tale itself always comes first and is as readable and as approachable today as it was in the late 19th century, when it was first published).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Janis

    This is the graphics version of the story. It was really interesting to see the story in 'cartoon' form. It gave the story the visual elements in a quick but fairly thorough way. Might be a good way to introduce the regular story to someone who doesn't like to read much. This is the graphics version of the story. It was really interesting to see the story in 'cartoon' form. It gave the story the visual elements in a quick but fairly thorough way. Might be a good way to introduce the regular story to someone who doesn't like to read much.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    So I'm not really treating this as the story, because I love the original story of Black Beauty, it's one of the books that influenced me to become a horsewoman, but instead I'm going to focus on the presentation. For the most part, the drawings remind me of the "dramatic" style cartoons that used to be in the newspapers, Dick Tracy, Prince Valiant, those kinds, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and suits the tone of the story. However... well, the best word I can think to describe the book So I'm not really treating this as the story, because I love the original story of Black Beauty, it's one of the books that influenced me to become a horsewoman, but instead I'm going to focus on the presentation. For the most part, the drawings remind me of the "dramatic" style cartoons that used to be in the newspapers, Dick Tracy, Prince Valiant, those kinds, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and suits the tone of the story. However... well, the best word I can think to describe the book entirely, is "sloppy". A lot of the text has obvious incorrect wording (weak editing) and the horseperson in me takes offense when the text mentions the horses "trotting" and the pictures obviously show them cantering (lack of knowledge). If this sort of thing had happened once, I may have convinced myself to get over it, but it is frequent and through the entire graphic novel and when you make mistakes in both your pictures and your text, you can't say you have a quality graphic novel. Style-wise, though the "dramatic" cartoon style worked, I would have liked a story with color (Black Beauty's world is dark enough without all being in black and white). The edits to the story, shortening a lot of the harsher times I didn't have a problem with, as their full awfulness is still felt, just less dwelt upon. Content notes: Swearing is mentioned as happening, but is not written out. No sensuality issues. Several instances of animal abuse or carelessness, occasionally with the animal reacting violently and injuries or deaths to both people and animals is shown as the result.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Veronica attridge

    Anna Sewell's Black Beauty the graphic novel was a charming adaptation by June Bridgman and Roy Richardson of the class novel. The story is set in the perspective of Beauty, a Horse who live in the late eighteen hundreds. It tell how the horse Beauty is passed from owner to owner over the course of the his life. Beauty has different experience with each owner both good and bad. The picture perfectly depict the time period, characters and horses. It may be a short read but it keeps you glued to Anna Sewell's Black Beauty the graphic novel was a charming adaptation by June Bridgman and Roy Richardson of the class novel. The story is set in the perspective of Beauty, a Horse who live in the late eighteen hundreds. It tell how the horse Beauty is passed from owner to owner over the course of the his life. Beauty has different experience with each owner both good and bad. The picture perfectly depict the time period, characters and horses. It may be a short read but it keeps you glued to the page right to the vary end.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    I really enjoyed this graphic novel version of Black Beauty. It made me want to read the original, especially after I read the brief biography of Anne Sewell that is in the back of this version. I also thought it interesting to see some of the sketches by Brigman and how they came to life in the book. Black Beauty is a wonderful story for any animal lover and the graphic novel form helps it come alive for younger readers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I liked the graphic novel even more than the original book, because it was so well drawn. It's true that the graphic novel couldn't capture a lot of the elements of the story, but the illustrators made up for it with how thoughtfully and carefully the content that WAS there was made. A must read. I liked the graphic novel even more than the original book, because it was so well drawn. It's true that the graphic novel couldn't capture a lot of the elements of the story, but the illustrators made up for it with how thoughtfully and carefully the content that WAS there was made. A must read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jasmin

    I personally luv this book. It is so original and it inspires you to go help a animal.... i guess :))

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephanna

    This is my favorite stand alone book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Poet in the Dark

    A decent abridgment with okay art. Noticed quite a few spelling errors. The original is much, much better.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Starr05b17

    It was kind of sad because they were keep on selling him but at last he found family.One man said his name. he knew him when he was little. But they keep him for ever.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Noor

    so nice best book if you love horses pls its the best book to read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rubi

    Really well formatted graphic novel. I loved seeing the artist sketches at the end too. The novel was very much condensed but overall stayed true to the story. The artist even went by chapter, trying get all the main points in. I applaud her đź‘Źđź‘Ź At one point I teared up at how these poor horses were treated and died; it broke my heart. This story really puts our treatment of animals into perspective and i hope everyone could learn from this story to take care of the creatures in our care. The end Really well formatted graphic novel. I loved seeing the artist sketches at the end too. The novel was very much condensed but overall stayed true to the story. The artist even went by chapter, trying get all the main points in. I applaud her đź‘Źđź‘Ź At one point I teared up at how these poor horses were treated and died; it broke my heart. This story really puts our treatment of animals into perspective and i hope everyone could learn from this story to take care of the creatures in our care. The end taught me a little about the original author as well and I'm glad this work was finished before she passed. It's a true classic that every child should read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pug

    I love horses, and I loved Black Beauty. The movie from the 90's was particularly heartbreaking! Although I'm enjoying reading the classics in graphic novel form, and I liked the horse drawings, this book was a real drag. I found Black Beauty (the book, possibly the horse himself) to be nonstop preachy. Every brief chapter seemed designed to teach a lesson and to end in a moral-of-the-story: in other words, trying too hard. I wanted to enjoy and fall in love with the horse, but I couldn't because I love horses, and I loved Black Beauty. The movie from the 90's was particularly heartbreaking! Although I'm enjoying reading the classics in graphic novel form, and I liked the horse drawings, this book was a real drag. I found Black Beauty (the book, possibly the horse himself) to be nonstop preachy. Every brief chapter seemed designed to teach a lesson and to end in a moral-of-the-story: in other words, trying too hard. I wanted to enjoy and fall in love with the horse, but I couldn't because he acted like a total know-it-all.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

    The art was beautiful and I loved how they included some rough drafts, to see the process of making the book. The story is not what I remember... I think they added some extra parts to the story. I think I would have liked it better if they kept to the original more and added more to major plot points. Might have to read the book again and see if that is how it happened, but I'm pretty sure it's different. The art was beautiful and I loved how they included some rough drafts, to see the process of making the book. The story is not what I remember... I think they added some extra parts to the story. I think I would have liked it better if they kept to the original more and added more to major plot points. Might have to read the book again and see if that is how it happened, but I'm pretty sure it's different.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Well done graphic novelization of the classic. Stays true to the story without cutting out too many details, well at least not where the details matter. And the illustrations are nice. I kind of expected more manga simply because other classics done this way have tended towards manga. So, this was kind of refreshing just for that.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jess Rowan

    Finding black and white illustrations was a little disappointing, but they were well done. Not sure why I even like this story (rarely enjoy animal stories), but I still couldn't put it down and stayed up past my bedtime to finish. Finding black and white illustrations was a little disappointing, but they were well done. Not sure why I even like this story (rarely enjoy animal stories), but I still couldn't put it down and stayed up past my bedtime to finish.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peyton Mcallister

    I read this book because its a garphic novel and it was an all time favorite book when I was a child! I also read the graphic novel to read another genre and see what the graphic novel was like. Also I read Black Beauty to interpret another version of the book and learn more about the horse. I thought that this book was ok. In some parts of the book it was hard to read and understand because words and pictures were everywhere and I didnt know what sequence they were in. Once I knew how to rea I read this book because its a garphic novel and it was an all time favorite book when I was a child! I also read the graphic novel to read another genre and see what the graphic novel was like. Also I read Black Beauty to interpret another version of the book and learn more about the horse. I thought that this book was ok. In some parts of the book it was hard to read and understand because words and pictures were everywhere and I didnt know what sequence they were in. Once I knew how to read it the book was better! I think nine and ten year olds should read this book because its a little kids story but how the book was put together might be a little challenging for little kids to read. Middle schoolers and High scoolers are to old to read this book! I dont think that they would like it at all! Its perfect for nine and ten year olds!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anagha Pashilkar

    Black Beauty is a great classic book. I really enjoyed this book because it was very descriptive, and I enjoy many books with horses. My favorite character is Black Bueaty, a young strong black horses that is very good tempered. If got a horse I would definitly want one like Black Beauty. The theme of this book is to always be kind. Black Beauty never kicked or bit anything or anyone and lived a happy life but his friend ginger was bad tempered from a history of bad owners and got worked to deat Black Beauty is a great classic book. I really enjoyed this book because it was very descriptive, and I enjoy many books with horses. My favorite character is Black Bueaty, a young strong black horses that is very good tempered. If got a horse I would definitly want one like Black Beauty. The theme of this book is to always be kind. Black Beauty never kicked or bit anything or anyone and lived a happy life but his friend ginger was bad tempered from a history of bad owners and got worked to death because of her temper. I felt very sad when ginger died because she was only bad tempered because she had bad owners. I give this book five stars. It is a graphic novel and I recommend it to people who like horses.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ramona

    What a joy it was to revisit this childhood favorite of mine in a graphic novel. The illustrator, June Brigman, shares at the end of the book about how easy is is for her to draw horses because of her first-hand contact with horses. She says she feels this story was the culmination of everything she's done in her career because of her love of drawing horses. There is also some background on Anna Sewell & her determination to write this book in order to forever change the way mankind treats anima What a joy it was to revisit this childhood favorite of mine in a graphic novel. The illustrator, June Brigman, shares at the end of the book about how easy is is for her to draw horses because of her first-hand contact with horses. She says she feels this story was the culmination of everything she's done in her career because of her love of drawing horses. There is also some background on Anna Sewell & her determination to write this book in order to forever change the way mankind treats animals. She died a few months after its publication so she was not aware of her book's huge success. If you loved Black Beauty as a child, you'll love this beautifully done graphic novel.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Graphic adaptation of Anna Sewell's classic novel. Black Beauty is a spirited but good-natured horse who starts his life as part of a kind family. When they are forced to sell him, his happy life quickly changes to one of misery. Though he is badly mistreated, he always remains hopeful and refuses to give up. Though I love the original story, I just never felt as emotionally engaged by this adaptation. This version can make the novel accessible to very low-level readers, but I think most readers w Graphic adaptation of Anna Sewell's classic novel. Black Beauty is a spirited but good-natured horse who starts his life as part of a kind family. When they are forced to sell him, his happy life quickly changes to one of misery. Though he is badly mistreated, he always remains hopeful and refuses to give up. Though I love the original story, I just never felt as emotionally engaged by this adaptation. This version can make the novel accessible to very low-level readers, but I think most readers would be better off with the original.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nemanja

    Puffin Graphs,Black Beauty ,adventure and fiction. Story is about horse,Black Beauty and his life.He had a lot of challenges and a lot of very good moments in his life.Characters:Black Beauty,Ginger ( Beauty's friend),Captain (friend),Joe Green,Beauty's owner and John. On some moments i was sad but i some moments i was so happy.I tough about animals and their life and their challenges in life.This is great book and i will give it 5 start.Children any year can read it and i think that you should re Puffin Graphs,Black Beauty ,adventure and fiction. Story is about horse,Black Beauty and his life.He had a lot of challenges and a lot of very good moments in his life.Characters:Black Beauty,Ginger ( Beauty's friend),Captain (friend),Joe Green,Beauty's owner and John. On some moments i was sad but i some moments i was so happy.I tough about animals and their life and their challenges in life.This is great book and i will give it 5 start.Children any year can read it and i think that you should read it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nur Fathiah Zahri

    A handsome and sweet-tempered horse, Black Beauty is strong andspirited. His mother warns him that there are bad, cruel men in the world, but Black Beauty sees none of it in his fine, happy home. Until the day when he is sold, when his life changes immeasurably and he finally sees the truth in his mother's words. As he moves from master to master, Beauty's adventures will captivate readers, and June Brigman's wonderful illustrations will capture their imaginations. A handsome and sweet-tempered horse, Black Beauty is strong andspirited. His mother warns him that there are bad, cruel men in the world, but Black Beauty sees none of it in his fine, happy home. Until the day when he is sold, when his life changes immeasurably and he finally sees the truth in his mother's words. As he moves from master to master, Beauty's adventures will captivate readers, and June Brigman's wonderful illustrations will capture their imaginations.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vera

    I loved this book because it an amazing written book and it as a lot of figurative language that makes me want to read more and more, when the book ended I just could´t believe how good that book was.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Oelke

    I actually have 3 copy's of this book. I love it so much. It has to be my favorite. And I have the movie. And I have the second one. But let's be honest the second one isn't nearly as good as the first. I actually have 3 copy's of this book. I love it so much. It has to be my favorite. And I have the movie. And I have the second one. But let's be honest the second one isn't nearly as good as the first.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I loved this book growing up, and this is a fair abridgment. Another gateway for my struggling readers -- we do what we can.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kalen

    A quick read and a quick refersher of the original novel but now I need to read the original again

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    I think they did a good job making this a graphic novel. It was a little rushed and horribly edited but the charm of the story can still be found as well as Anna Sewell's love for horses. I think they did a good job making this a graphic novel. It was a little rushed and horribly edited but the charm of the story can still be found as well as Anna Sewell's love for horses.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Found a handful of spelling mistakes, but otherwise very nice!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mariam

    Not at all as I remember the book; a bit slow in story line.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cj

    It make me cry everytime. Poor Ginger.

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