Jim Henson's The Storyteller
In 1988, Jim Henson started a new television series called “The Storyteller.” It featured an old man, his talking dog, and a wealth of European-based folk tales all retold for an all-ages audience.
Now, Archaia has released a new volume based on that same premise, featuring a pretty impressive lineup of talent. Ron Marz, Roger Langbridge, Chris Eliopoulos, Paul Tobin and Roman Cliquet are just a few of the names who grace these pages with their talents.
At the end is a story based on a script that award-winning writer and director Anthony Minghella helped develop for the TV show. Minghella was a leading creator of the program, and rumor has it that he is the reason the Storyteller’s dog speaks (he assumed that any animal in a Jim Henson production would speak, therefore the dog would be a talker). This script was never produced, but it gets adapted here (it’s a wonderfully dark Russian story, and it gets the expanded length it deserves).
My favorite of the nine stories is Marjorie Liu and Jennifer L. Meyer’s “Puss in Boots.” The artwork is deliciously evocative and truly a wonder to sift through. The story (French-based) is a gem, too.
Each tale is wonderfully done. There’s not a clunker in the bunch, especially in terms of solid storytelling for kids. The book is beautifully presented as well, and it’s a sturdy hardcover on quality paper, so it will stand up nicely as a keepsake volume for kids.
Reviewed by John Hogan on December 13, 2011