Friday, May 18, 2012

Gentle Shakespeare for Us

I used to pick up picture books of Shakespeare's stories from time to time at the library, put them in the library basket for perusing, offer to read them together, but they never really "took." Finally, Sela said to me, "I'm just not that interested in Shakespeare."

Oh, maybe I can help with that! Nope. These themes are generally not interesting to her -- "too much killing and dying." Well, I have just one word for myself on this: "Duh." Know your audience, right?

Now as it happens, her ballet company is performing A Midsummer Night's Dream. This is a Shakespeare story that works! No killing, no dying - silliness, fairies & cute bugs who dance. Just the right combination of elements.  And, again, know your audience!  There's more than one way to get to know Shakespeare.

In addition to the ballet, we love these versions:
:: Shakespeare for Children by Jim Weiss (audio)
:: A Midsummer Night's Dream for Kids (Shakespeare Can Be Fun) by Lois Burdett
:: A Midsummer Night's Dream by Bruce Coville

And now that I know what can be appealing, I'll be on the lookout for other good fits.  Some more of his comedies?  And maybe these?
:: Shakespeare for Kids: His Life and Times, 21 Activities (For Kids series) by
         Aagesen & Blumberg
:: William Shakespeare and the Globe by Aliki
:: Simply Shakespeare: Readers Theatre for Young People by Kroll

(Another mild introduction to Shakespeare is Osborne's Stage Fright on a Summer's Night from The Magic Tree House series.  Sela loved these.)

I'd love recommendations - leave a comment and share your gems!


  1. Very cute, great suggestions. We're excited to come see her tomorrow afternoon :)

  2. diana is reading usborne books' stories from shakespeare right now. i particularly like kenneth branagh's much ado about nothing. i'm considering having diana watch it, but i'd need her to read a version first so she can get a sense of the plot and keep track of all the characters.


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