Manga Classic Review: Midsummer Night’s Dream

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan

Manga Classics: Midsummer Night’s Dream (Modern English Edition)
by  Crystal S. Chan, William Shakespeare, Po Tse (Illustrator), Michael Barltrop (Editor)

5 out of 5 stars

This manga adaptation of Williams Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is the perfect way to introduce Shakespeare to readers who might feel intimidated by the original play. The text is modernized, but still captures the original style of Shakespeare. The entire play is intact, and all the beauty of Shakespeare’s words comes through wonderfully in this modern adaptation.

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Manga Classic Review: Macbeth

Macbeth by Crystal S. Chan

by Crystal S. Chan (Adaptor), Julien Choy (Illustrator), William ShakespeareMichael Barltrop (Modern English Adaptor)
4 out of 5 stars

Despite its popularity, MacBeth has never been one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. Too bloody and gory and gloomy for my taste. But if you like a dismal adventure with plenty of violence and mayhem, MacBeth has plenty of that! And this manga adaptation rings true with the moods and poetry of the original play. I like that the words of Shakespeare are modernized in a thoughtful way, and the artwork beautifully illustrates all the action and drama.

Each character has a memorable and striking appearance, and I found it especially interesting to see how MacBeth’s demeanor changed after he commits murder. His posture and facial expressions are different, and shadows gather around him in the darker shadows of the artwork. It’s a subtle but effective way of showing the development of his character, slowing falling into madness and despair.

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Picture Book Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare's Globe

William Shakespeare’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream
by Shakespeare’s GlobeJane E. Ray (Illustrations), Georghia Ellinas (reteller)
3 out of 5 stars

When the Fairy Queen Titania and the Fairy King Oberon are fighting, no one is happy. Least of all Puck, who is tasked with finding the nectar of a magical flower that will make people fall in love. Puck is up to mischief, making all the wrong people fall in love. There is a lot of merriment in cases of mistaken identity, but can Puck put things right again?

This retelling of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream condenses the main story of the play, but keeps all the main characters and plot fairly intact. Even as much as it is condensed, the story still feels too long and complicated for a picture book for young children. I’m sure a child would have trouble keeping track of the many characters. The text is also too wordy and long for a picture book.

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Book Review: The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth
The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

There are several reasons why I did not like this adaptation of Macbeth.

1. It’s supposed to be rewritten for children, but the vocabulary is NOT age-appropriate . Even if a preteen was reading it, there are too many big words that a child would not know . If you were reading this to a child, you would have to stop after every sentence and explain half the words! Continue reading