Selah Janel’s Guest Review: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller

Selah Janel is at it again with a collection that is very personal to her. I absolutely share her opinions on this one and wish more people would take the time to appreciate it. Of course, I am also partial to fairytales retold – only if they are done well like these.

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Selah’s Review of The Storyteller

Some of my biggest influences have always been folktales, fables, and fairy tales. When they’re done right, they’re exquisite, and there are so many throughout the world that it’s a genre where you can always find something new. This obsession was fueled through my childhood by the TV series Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, and though it’s a little hard to come across it today, the good news is it’s alive and well in comic form.

The Storyteller collection features a brand-new group of tales (well, different than the show. These are all stories that have a long, long lifespan behind them), all framed by our old friend and his dog. This is a strong anthology of stories interpreted by different writers and artists, so strong that it’s hard for me to choose a favorite. Each makes use of the Storyteller character and his dog, usually playing on their daily life in some way, same as in the television series.

Jim Henson's The Storyteller

What really struck me about this book is that although the stories are not the same as the show, the sense of language is very similar. It’s credit to the writers that I could hear the Storyteller’s voice in my head more or less, as they all kept to a certain rhythm and certain flow of words. Honestly, it’s beautiful and made the book like coming home to sit in front of the fire with an old friend. The art, too, is nice because each story uses a different artist and each style beautifully reflects the story. Bonus points for all the incidental art and quotes from the original show that show up between stories, and the last tale that pulls from an unproduced television script from the original. It’s a wonderful blend of old and new that will entice fans and newbies, alike.

Admittedly, I’m a little partial to this version’s slant on Puss in Boots, but all of the tales are interesting and all are different types of stories. My only real disappointment is that in this format, sometimes the action has to be a little rushed, where in my mind’s eye I can see it as much more drawn out if it was in the television format – I also own the ‘novel’ of the original series, and the stories were able to take their time in short story format a bit more, as well.

For kids and teens, though, I think the forward momentum is a service, and this is a fantastic, readable, gorgeous introduction to the world of folktales, as well as a show that many don’t realize even exists.

There’s not really anything beyond fairy tale drama/violence – any nudity is brief and obscured (I think there’s maybe one panel) and any violence is very much played down, as well. I could see anyone from elementary school (even those who have their parents read this to them) through teens being enchanted by this book. Pretty much, if you love a good story, you’ll find something in this for you.


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Selah Janel

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