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Tales From Shakespeare

by Charles Lamb And Mary Lamb, Contrib. By William Shakespeare

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About Book

Tina Packer, President and Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company theater and theater education group, brings ten of Shakespeare's most popular works to (abbreviated) life in this big, gorgeous hardcover volume. She retells the plays in a coherent style, incorporating paraphrases of some of the better-known lines for authentic flavor: "Is this a dagger which I see before me…" (Macbeth); "Ingratitude, more hideous in a child than in the sea monster…" (King Lear). Each of the ten tragedies and comedies is magnificently illustrated (one illustration per play) by an award-winning artist, including Mary GrandPre, Leo and Diane Dillon, Kadir Nelson , Chesley McLaren , and others. A lengthy and interesting introduction provides useful context for readers new to the Elizabethan world of Shakespeare.

Ideally, this book will serve as a lush introduction to the Bard for children who will go on to read--and better understand--the classic plays in their entirety. It sure beats Cliffs Notes. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9-Mix the intricacies of Shakespeare's plots and his poetic language with illustrations by award-winning artists and the result is a treasure trove of well-told tales. In these adaptations, Packer captures the essence of the playwright's words and ideas, placing them in concise and clearly told stories. A nine-page introductory essay presents basic biographical facts. The tales-five each of the Bard's best-known comedies and tragedies-begin with a short introduction to explain the basic thesis of the play, followed by a list of "Main Players," and a skillful 13- to 15-page prose retelling. The narrative consists mostly of short, declarative sentences that cut right to the heart of the plot, but the interweaving of numerous pertinent lines of dialogue helps to keep the poetic flavor of the original. Each retelling is accompanied by a full-page opening illustration, and a small detailed painting highlights the conclusion. The styles vary from Barry Moser's foreboding black-and-white scratchboard portrait of Macbeth to Barbara McClintock's detailed view of the Forest of Arden to P. J. Lynch's impressionistic watercolor rendering of the ghost of King Hamlet. The quality is always excellent. Each illustrator sets the appropriate tone for and conveys the mood of the tale, and the breadth of artistic interpretations gives the book appeal to a wide audience. These versions are fuller and the choice of vocabulary more suited to American audiences than that found in E. Nesbit's The Best of Shakespeare (Oxford, 1999). This handsome volume will provide youngsters with a clear understanding of the basis of the plays before they approach the original scripts.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
Gr. 5-8. One of the most beautifully produced modern editions of tales from Shakespeare, this large-format volume featuring prose retellings of 10 of Shakespeare's plays will serve as a good introduction for young people planning to attend performances. Packer, the artistic director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts, has directed many productions, including those of all the tales retold here. Her introduction provides background information on Elizabethan England and its theater as well as Shakespeare's life, writing, and contributions to the language. The stories are simplified, quite readable, and convey enough plot, characterization, and dialogue to give readers a basic sense of each play. The memorable full-page illustrations within include David Shannon's striking painting of Romeo and Juliet, Kadir Nelson's stark portrait of Othello, Mary GrandPre's lyrical dance scene from Much Ado about Nothing, Gail de Marcken's magically lit study from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Barry Moser's penetrating portrayal of Macbeth, and Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon's dramatic interpretation of Cordelia in King Lear. Handsomely crafted in every detail. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Booklist, March 15, 2004
One of the most beautifully produced modern editions of tales from Shakespeare...

School Library Journal, April 1, 2004
Mix intricacies of Shakespeare's plots and poetic language with illustrations by award-winning artists and the result is a treasure...

Book Description

Noted Shakespearian expert, Tina Packer, Director of the premier theatre group, Shakespeare & Co, brings to life all the romance, clashing swords, dastardly plots, and hilarious comedies of 10 of Shakespeare's classic plays, retold as exciting, accessible stories and lavishly illustrated by 10 notable children's book illustrators. (See extended summary.)



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