Schools Book of the Month: Bluebeard by Metaphrog

Competition type: Schools

Start date: 01 May 2020, 00:05

Closing date: 31 May 2020, 23:59

Language: English
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Age group: 9-11, 12-14
Audience: Children, Young People
Topics: Competitions

We have three copies of Bluebeard to be won. All you need to do is answer the question at the bottom of the page. Entries close at midnight on Sunday 31 May. All entrants must reside in the UK and full terms and conditions apply.

Due to the current unusual circumstances with Coronavirus (COVID-19) there may be a delay in sending out copies to the winners.

About Bluebeard

The award-winning duo Metaphrog have released another brilliant graphic novel adaption of a classic fairytale. This time, it's Bluebeard - with a feminist twist. Eve is separated from her beloved family and childhood sweetheart Tom, sent off to marry the mysterious Bluebeard. The story is laden with suspense, as a dark and unsettling mystery unfurls and Eve discovers the terrible truth about the fate of Bluebeard's missing past wives. By centring on Eve as the protagonist, Metaphrog enrich this classic tale and shine a light on Eve's relationship with her sister. Complete with luminous, dreamlike illustrations with bold contrasting colours, this beautiful graphic novel with thrill middle grade and teen readers alike.

Interview with Metaphrog

You’ve adapted lots of classic stories now, including The Little Mermaid, The Red Shoes and now Bluebeard. Can you tell us more about adapting stories? How do you decide what to change and what to keep the same?

When we adapt a story or a fairy tale, we choose one that is close to our hearts and means something to us. All the tales we've adapted were a big part of our childhoods. But the original tales were written a long time ago and we wanted to give them a more modern feel and draw out new themes. In Bluebeard, as we developed the world-building, the story also grew and we created a back story for the heroine to help build empathy. Also, in the original tale, there are characters who come in and out of scenes from nowhere, and we felt that for modern readers we had to work on the plotting to correct that. We hope that Charles Perrault will forgive us!

Why did you choose to adapt Bluebeard in particular?

Bluebeard has stayed with us since we first encountered it as children, perhaps because of its darkness. It’s a very powerful tale. But the original had dubious morals: women should stay in their place and will pay the price for their curiosity. So we turned it around, made the heroine the central part of the story rather than Bluebeard, and told her story in a more feminist way where women and men are equal as humans. We wanted to tell the story in a tradition not unlike that of Angela Carter, who is one of our favourite authors. We also wanted to interrogate the patriarchy and this adaptation gave us the perfect opportunity.

What’s it like collaborating on the story and the artwork when making graphic novels?

When we make a book, the art and the script evolve roughly at the same time, although John is always a little bit ahead with the writing. Basically we both develop the story, John writes the words, Sandra then produces layouts that we both edit, then Sandra creates the art. But John always needs to see the story evolve visually (in layout and final art) as he writes, as it inspires him.

What is the name of the heroine in Bluebeard?