Review: The Story of Antigone by Ali Smith

The story of AntigoneTitle: The Story of Antigone

Author: Ali Smith

Pages: 100 Pages

Publisher: Pushkin Press

The Blurb

Now there’s a girl who understands things, the crow thought.

When two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, die in a vicious battle over the crown of Thebes, the new ruler, King Creon, decides that Eteocles will be buried as a hero, while Polynices will be left outside as a feast for the dogs and crows.

But the young Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, will defy the cruel tyrant and attempt to give her brother the burial he deserves. This simple act of love and bravery will set in motion a terrible course of events that will reverberate across
the entire kingdom…

Dave Eggers says, of the series: “I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it. Ever since Alessandro conceived this idea I thought it was brilliant. The editions that they’ve complied have been lushly illustrated and elegantly designed.”

The Review

I do love picture books, more so since I became an aunty in 2015. It was with this in mind that I requested The Story of Antigone by Ali Smith from NetGalley.

It was interesting. I think I overestimated how much of a children’s book it was. Having an animal narrator and pictures does not necessarily a children’s’ book make in my opinion. Whilst The Story of Antigone is told well and the concept of bringing stories that some younger readers may never ever come across is brilliant, I personally think that the story reads as a text for an older audience.

Using the allegory of the dog and the crow to tell the story would have been beyond me and my understanding as a child (and I was extremely well read) and therefore I think it is a bit ambitious as a story for children.

The Story of Antigone by Ali Smith is available from September 6th 2016.

For more information regarding Pushkin Press (@PushkinPress) please visit

3 Stars

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