Book Review: Shakespeare’s Avengers

William Shakespeare's Avengers by Ian Doescher

William Shakespeare’s Avengers: The Complete Works
by Ian Doescher (Goodreads Author)
5 out of 5 stars

The Avengers movies are retold in this Shakespearean format as if they were theater plays, complete with stage directions and Elizabethan language.

I got inspired to rewatch the movies, and watched each one right after reading the play! It was so fun to see how the book follows the movie scenes closely, but with little additions in the dialogue and aside comments to the audience. There is even a chorus that introduces scenes and explains the plot like Shakespeare’s plays would have.

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Manga Classic Review: Macbeth

Macbeth by Crystal S. Chan

Macbeth
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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Book Review: Romeo and Juliet

Manga Classics Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Manga Classics Romeo and Juliet (Modern English Edition)
by William ShakespeareCrystal S. ChanJulien Choy (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

This manga adaptation of Williams Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the perfect way to introduce Shakespeare to readers who might feel intimidated by the original play. The text is modernized, but is still written in iambic pentameter, and still has the original rhymes of the play. The entire play is intact, and all the beauty of Shakespeare’s words comes through wonderfully in this modern adaptation.

I am so impressed with the way the text was modernized, and with the integrity and thoughtfulness that went into editing it. It really does feel like something that Shakespeare would have written if he had been alive today. There is no jarring modern slang to ruin the beauty of the lines. It feels like someone just translated the words from another language, and made it easy to understand for modern readers, but without losing any of the flavor and emotion of the original text.

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Manga Review: Othello

Othello by Stacy King

Othello
by Stacy King (Goodreads Author) (Adaptor), Crystal S. Chan (Contributor), Julien Choy (Illustrator), William Shakespeare (Original Author)
5 out of 5 stars

General Othello is newly married to the beautiful Desdemona. Iago is jealous of Othello’s high position in the military, and pretends to be Othello’s friend, but swears to get his revenge by making Othello miserable any way he can. Iago spreads lies that Desdemona has been unfaithful to her new husband, and plants a seed of suspicion in Othello’s mind. Once Othello’s heart is poisoned by Iago’s lies, it means tragedy for everyone involved.

I am so impressed with this graphic novel! The artwork is beautiful and each panel shows a clear story. The classic story of Othello retains all its integrity, and the characters are powerfully depicted. This edition uses the original words of Shakespeare, and I enjoyed revisiting this beautiful play in a new format.

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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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Picture Book Review: William Sheepspeare

William Sheepspeare by Courtney Acampora
William Sheepspeare 
by Courtney AcamporaMaggie FischerZoe Perisco (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

“To baa or not to baa… That is the question.”

The cuteness factor in this board book is through the roof! Reimagining the life of William Shakespeare as a sheep, everything is transformed into animalistic phrases, words, and illustrations. William Sheepspeare writes “ram-ances” instead of “romances”, and “shearious” tragedies like “Lamblet, MacBleat, and Julius Fleecer”.

Introducing young children to the beautiful Globe Theater and Sheepspeare’s home in Stratford with his family (his “ewe, Anne Hoofaway” and three “lambs”), the simple story-telling is the perfect style for little readers to learn about this historical figure. Continue reading

Manga Review: MacBeth

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: Macbeth 
by Crystal S. Chan (Adapted by),William ShakespeareJulien Choy (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


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 exact dialogue of the play is used in this manga, and the artwork beautifully illustrates all the action and drama. Continue reading

Manga Review: Romeo and Juliet

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet 
by Crystal S. Chan (Adapter)William ShakespeareJulien Choy (Artist)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

With all the original dialogue of the play, this manga adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet bursts with old enchantment and romantic drama. The illustrations flow from one panel to the next in a surge of emotional tension, and the action keeps the wordy dialogue from weighing down the storyline.

This would be a great way to introduce Shakespeare to younger audiences, since the dialogue is easier to understand along with the action of the panels. Continue reading