Published October 18th 2016 by HarperCollins
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
A beautifully illustrated collection of E. Nesbit’s prose retellings of seven Shakespeare plays. The book also includes extensive support materials, including a biography of the Bard himself, a timeline of his life, and further recommended readings. Children will love this mix of tragedies and comedies, and the accessible language makes it easier for them to understand.
In this volume, you will find:
Romeo and Juliet
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
In this compact volume, E. Nesbit retells seven of Shakespeare's most famous plays, ranging from Romeo and Juliet to my personal favorite, Much Ado About Nothing. With vivid illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo, and a nifty timeline by Mariah Fredericks, it's a gorgeous volume to behold.
To my delight, it was a gorgeous volume to read, as well. Nesbit is careful to not directly copy Shakespeare's dialogue for any of the retellings; instead, Nesbit carefully uses modern wit and phrasing to retell those stories. While they don't always fully carry over - there was a tiny bit of sarcasm in Romeo and Juliet, which felt a little out of place - it's undoubtedly witty, smart and encourages readers to keep reading.
What's even better, is Nesbit's plotting. It is detailed enough to round out the story, but also coyly leaves out some of the juicier plot points of the plays, and will encourage readers to seek out the original for study. This book is a great gateway to the original texts, and will undoubtedly bring Shakespeare to life for up-and-coming generations.
Highly recommend, full stop.
About the author/illustrator:
Antonio Javier Caparo is a Cuban-born illustrator, graphic designer, and comic book artist based in Montreal, Canada. His artwork has been featured in children’s books, novels, and publications in the United States, South America, and Europe. You can visit him online at www.antoniocaparo.com.