graphic-novel4 star

The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet

Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue, Book #2

By Ian Lendler

ISBN13: 9781596439160

Author’s Website:

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Andra


The Stratford Zoo looks like a normal zoo . . . until the gates shut at night. That’s when the animals come out of their cages to stage elaborate performances of Shakespeare’s greatest works. They might not be the most accomplished thespians, but they’ve got what counts: heart. Also fangs, feathers, scales, and tails.


Ian Lendler‘s hilarious tale of after-hours animal stagecraft is perfectly paired with the adorable, accessible artwork of Zack Giallongo (Broxo,Ewoks) in this side-splitting companion to their graphic novelThe Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.


I must admit, this is my first graphic novel since my teenage years and even at that, graphic novels were not my norm. A fast paced read, intertwining characters from all animal species while telling the tale of Romeo and Juliet, was extremely entertaining. Almost from the beginning I had a smile on my face which was there continuously until the very end.   Even the director’s notes to himself and the notes to the cast and crew were fitting of the story as it was told.

The dialogue between the vultures had me in stiches…loved them! Actually, I really enjoyed the whole book! And let me not forget to mention the young monkey….he was great. I loved in the end that the monkey and the lamb were friends…. 🙂

My daughter wanted to know what I was laughing so hard about while I was reading (I was just reading the part where the vendor was selling “greasy, grimy gopher guts” to the crowd).   I giggled at the peacock’s statement during the play “Shove it buddy, I don’t close my feathers for nobody” when another audience member could not see around the peacock. And then the elephants arrived and no one in the audience could see around them

While the story as it is told is not exactly like the original telling of Romeo and Juliet, I think it is a good introduction to younger students of Shakespeare.

This version of Romeo and Juliet (with the animals in the Stratford Zoo) was just so much fun to read. I will be on the lookout to read the Macbeth story that was published previously.   And so will my teenage daughter.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*