THE BIG TALL WISH is part of a series of graphic novels from Walker Books for Young Readers adapted from episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This story revolves around an aged boxer named Bolie Jackson who is trying to make a comeback late in his career by fighting a young, rising star. Bolie's biggest fan is a boy named Henry. Henry lives with his single mom in the same apartment building as Bolie. Bolie takes a liking to the kid and takes him out for ice cream and trips to the zoo. Henry wants Bolie to succeed in his fight and makes the biggest and tallest wish he can make. In the Twilight Zone dreams can come true, but they only last if people believe in them.
The story in THE BIG TALL WISH isn't particularly memorable, but the episode on which it is based is significant because it featured an almost completely African-American cast and had a storyline that had nothing to do with racism. The episode was nominated for several awards.
I was a little disappointed by the illustrations in THE BIG TALL WISH. This was the fifth or sixth of the TWILIGHT ZONE graphic novels that I have read. It is also the last book published in the series so far. It appears that the quality of the illustrations has diminished from earlier stories in the series. That's not to say that they are terrible, because they aren't. However, there's just not as much detail given and the color scheme isn't a very good one. This book was drawn by a different illustrator than the others I've read so I guess that's the reason. The text is written in a font a little larger than most graphic novels and comics and the panels are easy to follow. The book includes introductory and concluding essays as well as a page that gives many details about the original episode, including cast, crew, and trivia.
Overall, though it is based on an episode from a landmark television series, THE BIG TALL WISH is basically an average graphic novel. I'm not sure if fans of THE TWILIGHT ZONE will enjoy the book or not, but it will appeal to its target audience of older children and reluctant readers.
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Grade 5 Up–Designed to bring the classic television series to a new generation, these graphic novels are adaptations of scripts from original episodes. InWish, a washed-up prizefighter, is trying to make a comeback. When a young neighbor watches him going down in defeat, he wishes for a different outcome. Bolie finds himself the victor, but with memories of being down for the count. Henry tells Bolie about his wish, and the magic of belief that made it a reality. Bolie, unfortunately, cannot accept Henry's faith in him, or, ultimately, in himself, and he finds himself back in the ring, down and defeated. Lie's art fits the darkness of the subject matter, with muted, rather muddy colors. The illustrations are fairly original, only vaguely resembling the actors who played the original roles. InMartian, two state troopers investigate a call about a downed UFO. They locate the vehicle and follow the tracks in the snow to Haley's Diner, where they find the passengers of a bus and the diner's owner. The troopers question the people and finally have to confess that they are looking for an alien. Tension builds and suspicion flares among the people, the electricity goes out, and the jukebox intermittently plays. The troopers and bus leave, none the wiser about the alien. However, the ending has a typicalTwilight Zonetwist that will surprise readers. Ellis's illustrations are a bit closer to the original look of the episode as broadcast. The dialogue balloons follow the scripts ...