Yorick and Bones by Jeremy Tankard and Hermione Tankard, 144 pp, RL 3

Yorick and Bones
Purchased from Barnes & Noble

How could you not want to read a book with the tagline, "The lost graphic novel by William Shakespeare"???

When a witch in a rush crashes into a hot dog cart, a potion falls from her satchel, crashing to the ground and seeping into the earth where a skeleton is buried. Magically, the potion brings the bones to life and Yorick (the skeleton) finds himself alone in the dark, wishing for, "A friend. A one with whom I may converse." Yorick does have one other wish - "A sausage would true, unreal wonder bring." If you are not a poet and/or a scholar of Shakespeare, you might not realize that all of Yorick's dialogue in this quirky graphic novel is written in iambic pentameter. What Yorick gets is a fluffy, white little dog, digging away, looking for a bone to gnaw on. As Yorick and his rescuer/attacker make their way through the world, Yorick continues his quest for a comrade only to find each new potential friend screaming and running away, even after Yorick borrows a pair of pants off a clothesline. As Yorick comes to see he may be too scary to find a (human) friend, he and the pup engage in a game of fetch with a yellow ball that becomes a game of fetch with Yorick's skull after he trips and it gets away from him. As a new idea dawns upon him, Yorick says, "I've realized of late, my dog, a truth: I wanted a companion, and I found thee! Thou wast ne'er afraid of me, and lov'd me no matter what horrific thing was I!" The graphic novel ends with Yorick trying to decide what to name the pup - Puck? Calaban? Rosencrantz? Romeo? No! It's . . . Well, you know!

Tankard, self-named authorstrator of several books and illustrator of more, brings his talents to the world of graphic novels with his teenaged daughter, a fan of Shakespeare since 4th grade. After Hermione translated Tankard's Grumpy Bird book into iambic pentameter and he shared it with is editor, the two decided to team up. As his author's note details, Tankard has been drawing a version of a skeleton being chomped on by a dog since he was a boy, but couldn't find a way to work this character into a picture book until his agent suggested he let his then fifteen-year-old daughter have a try at the story and Yorick and Bones was born. Happily, Yorick and Bones will return for another adventure!

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