Here’s something I hope becomes a trend: illustrated short stories. The Creative Company produces illustrated versions of classic short stories, each bound as its own beautiful mini-book.
With titles that recall 11th-grade English, like Frank Stockton’s “The Lady or the Tiger,” Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” these books are geared towards in-school use. Writes The School Library Journal:
Each book contains the story itself with various sections written in different colored fonts. Then there is a series of thoughts on the story, and finally a biography of the author.
One might argue the logic of making such stories into their own books. I mean, are they illustrated? Not excessively, though there are small illustrations included at key moments. So what is the advantage? Well, to be frank, these are ideal for reluctant readers who have been assigned such stories in school but need just a small extra added push to give ‘em the impetus they need to follow through. The stories make slim volumes, and aren’t the least bit imposing. That said, you might worry that they look too much like picture books to lure in older readers. Yet the sophistication of the covers brings to mind remarkably slim coffee table books more than anything else.
It’s refreshing to see short stories given this kind of care and attention—kind of like One Story for the high school set.
And if you prefer longer works, but still want your pictures, there are always these.