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

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

Book Review: The Two Noble Kinsmen

The Two Noble Kinsmen
The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Ancient Greece, three queens come to plea with King Theseus and Queen Hippolyta to avenge the deaths of their three kingly husbands, who died at the hand of the evil tyrant Creon. Theseus agrees to go to war against Creon.

In Creon’s army are two cousins, Palamon and Arcite, who are noble of heart, and do not agree with the tyrannous methods of Creon, but they are honor-bound to fight for Creon, and are taken as prisoners in the war.

While imprisoned they both fall in love with the beautiful Emilia, sister to Queen Hippolyta, and these two cousins who were once so close begin a fight to the death over Emilia’s hand. They escape prison, are caught fighting, and agree to a tournament for Emilia’s hand in marriage. Continue reading