The Barnes & Noble Review
Will Moses, the great-grandson of Grandma Moses, has illustrated this American classic with a liveliness that its creator might have appreciated. This conjuring tale is a Halloween must.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Paintings by Grandma Moses's great-grandson make a striking match for the classic story," said PW. Ages 5-up. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Bagg
This is an excellent rendition of the famous ghost story about the hapless schoolteacher and the headless horseman. Washington Irvings's lengthy descriptions and erudite vocabulary have been condensed to a comfortable reading level for upper elementary or middle school readers. The realistic and colorful illustrations really suit the mood of the tale. 1995 (orig.\
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Kelley makes a significant contribution to picture books for young adults with his skillful rendition of Irving's classic The Legend of Sleepy Hallow. Kelley drew his inspiration from the painters of the late 18th century. He uses style, color and light to reflect the tones of the Flemish masters and revive the Hudson Valley life of the early Dutch settlers. Green predominates, giving a woodsy feel while creating a strong sense of setting and time. Kelley also adopts the illustrative vision of the 1700's where he depicts a horse galloping with front and back legs extended, as they were in the period (artists didn't have photography to show them that a horse doesn't gallop that way). All these things add to the feeling of the period.
Even before this spooky tale begins, the illustration on the cover of this book will send a shiver down the spine of most readers. This is the tale of an obnoxious school teacher, Ichabod Crane, and his attempts to win the hand of Katrina, the beautiful daughter of a rich, local farmer. Katrina is already being courted by the handsome and fearless Brom Bones who is famous for his tricks and practical jokes. Ichabod's greed and foolishness eventually lead him on a very long and eventful ride home from a party one night in the company of the headless horseman. Will Moses is the great-grandson of Grandma Moses, the painter famous for her primitive, folk art style and it shows. He has inherited both her style and talent, which are entirely appropriate for this deliciously scary retelling of Washington Irving's 1820 story.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up- Grimly's interpretation of Irving's classic features quirky, creepy artwork that is strange in all the right ways. Calling to mind R. Crumb's crosshatched, wild-eyed, weirdly proportioned characters, Grimly's Ichabod Crane and the other townspeople are (predictably) grim caricatures. To cast the town in a perpetual twilight, the artist relies on a muted palette of grays, browns, tans, and oranges, which provides ample range and visual variety. The art and the text are not exactly symbiotic; Irving's prose, even with a few modifications, is simply too dense for modern readers. Youngsters may find themselves reading the text and examining the art separately, rather than absorbing both at the same time. More heavily graphic than an illustrated story, but still not quite a graphic novel, and equally at home in juvenile or young adult sections, this inventive but faithful adaptation deserves shelf space in most libraries.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
The unabridged text of Washington Irving's classic folktale is illustrated by Gary Kelley's evocative color chalk drawings and b&w gravestone rubbings. 8x13". Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Many folk-art paintings illustrate this simplified retelling of Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow". Varied in size from small vignettes to double-page spreads, the colorful paintings are reminiscent of the works of Moses' great-grandmother, better known as Grandma Moses. A large-format picture book that will fill a need in some libraries.
Abridged but not rewritten, the classic tale is decorated with a plethora of very small, comically gothic cartoons that add an air of spooky grotesquerie. An overall color scheme of pale browns and oranges adds a properly autumnal air to Sleepy Hollow's knobby woodlands, and the supporting cast includes nearly as many ghosts, toothy imps and the like as it does human figures. Grimly's not much for verisimilitude-party guests at the Van Tassels include African-Americans, and there's a glimpse of a generic Native American earlier on-but burly "rantipole hero" Brom Bones looks rightly massive next to the exaggeratedly gawky figure of Ichabod Crane. The Headless Horseman not only sports a particularly eerie-looking twig between its shoulders but rides a red-eyed, demonic steed, and in three views on the final page the decayed schoolhouse has a decidedly haunted air. Still, this is not a particularly scary rendition, and because its text is chopped into scattered, easily digestible passages tucked between or inside the panels, it may have more appeal to less-able readers than full versions. (Fantasy. 10-12)
Children's Literature - Lisa Czirr
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” comes to life in this graphic novel retelling of Washington Irving’s spooky short story. Beginning notes about the original story explain the background of Irving’s inspiration for the characters. As the story begins, a rivalry is underway between the schoolmaster Ichabod Crane and the dashing Brom, who are both competing for the young woman Katrina’s affection. When Ichabod visits Katrina, he must travel through an allegedly haunted forest on his way home each night. Ichabod hears stories about the area of Sleepy Hollow, where spirits such as the Women in White or the hanged spy haunt the land. Finally, he learns the full story of the headless horseman. After an argument with Katrina, Ichabod storms off into the woods, only to have a firsthand encounter with the horseman. The story becomes especially exciting in the graphic novel format, with eerie scenery and plenty of suspense that builds to the climactic horseman confrontation. This book is a faithful adaptation that will draw in both reluctant readers and horror fans alike. There are also Common Core aligned reading and writing questions at the end, useful for adapting this book to the classroom. Reviewer: Lisa Czirr; Ages 10 to 14.
Read an Excerpt
Of Sleepy Hollow
Found Among ThePapers of The
A pleasing land of drowsy-head it was,Castle of Indolence
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye,
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass,
For ever flushing round a summer sky.
In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market-town or rural port which by some is called Greensburg, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days by the good housewives of the adjacent country from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on marketdays. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose, and the occasional whistle of a quail or tapping of a woodpecker is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.
I recollect that when a stripling my first exploit in squirrel-shooting was in a grove of tall walnut trees that shades one side of the valley. I hadwandered into it at noontime, when all Nature is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of my own gun as it broke the Sabbath stillness around and was prolonged and reverberated by the angry echoes. If ever I should wish for a retreat whither I might steal from the world and its distractions and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this little valley.
From the listless repose of the place and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of Sleepy Hollow, and its rustic lads are called the Sleepy Hollow Boys throughout all the neighboring country. A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land and to pervade the very atmosphere. Some say that the place was bewitched by a High German doctor during the early days of the settlement; others, that an old Indian chief, the prophet or wizard of his tribe, held his powwows there before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvellous beliefs, are subject to trances and visions, and frequently see strange sights and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoat and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols.
The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball in some nameless battle during the Revolutionary War, and who is ever and anon seen by the countryfolk hurrying along in the gloom of night as if on the wings of the wind. His haunts are not confined to the valley, but extend at times to the adjacent roads, and especially to the vicinity of a church at no great distance. Indeed, certain of the most authentic historians of those parts, who have been careful in collecting and collating the floating facts concerning this spectre, allege that the body of the trooper, having been buried in the churchyard, the ghost rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head, and that the rushing speed with which he sometimes passes along the Hollow, like a midnight blast, is owing to his being belated and in a hurry to get back to the churchyard before daybreak.
Such is the general purport of this legendary superstition, which has furnished materials for many a wild story in that region of shadows; and the spectre is known at all the country firesides by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
It is remarkable that the visionary propensity I have mentioned is not confined to native inhabitants of the valley, but is unconsciously imbibed by every one who resides there for a time. However wide awake they may have been before they entered that sleepy region, they are sure in a little time to inhale the witching influence of the air and begin to grow imaginative -- to dream dreams and see apparitions.
I mention this peaceful spot with all possible laud, for it is in such little retired Dutch valleys, found here and there embosomed in the great State of New York, that population, manners, and customs remain fixed, while the great torrent of migration and improvement, which is making such incessant changes in other parts of this restless country, sweeps by them unobserved. They are like those little nooks of still water which border a rapid stream where we may see the straw and bubble riding quietly at anchor or slowly revolving in their mimic harbor, undisturbed by the rush of the passing current. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Copyright © by Washington Irving. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.