Tales From Shakespeare

Tales From Shakespeare

5.0 2
by Tina Packer, Leo Dillon, Gail De Marcken
     
 
Ten of Shakespeare's most powerful, enduring plays are brilliantly retold here as great tales of love, jealousy, madness, comedy, vengeance, and heroics.

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

Overview

Ten of Shakespeare's most powerful, enduring plays are brilliantly retold here as great tales of love, jealousy, madness, comedy, vengeance, and heroics.

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.)

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Ms. Packer, who retells the stories of ten of the most popular Shakespearean plays, has impressive credentials. She is the president and artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, the award-winning theater she founded in Massachusetts in 1976. She has directed many productions, including all the plays in the book. Her introduction, dotted with pertinent quotes from the bard, is fascinating. She begins by telling a little of what is known about Shakespeare's life and his world and the elements that shaped his plays. In conclusion, she urges the reader to consider these Shakespeare plays that deal with the meaning of life as handbooks for living because of their parallels in the contemporary world. The plays retold are A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, As You Like It, Macbeth, The Tempest, Othello, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet. Since the book has fewer than 200 pages and each page features wide borders with the play name written in distracting stylized type, the stories are briefer than some retellings of Shakespeare's tales I have read. That may be an advantage for some, but not for others. Each tale is illustrated by a different, well-known illustrator whose style nicely complements it. 2004, Scholastic Press, Ages 12 up.
—Janet Crane Barley
School Library Journal
Gr 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 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Featuring inviting design, near-transparent prose, and an all-star cast of illustrators, this collection of retold Shakespearean stories should become a front runner in a decidedly crowded field. Packer recasts ten major comedies and tragedies as short stories, filling in details of dress, gesture, and motivation between incidents, and mixing direct quotes with paraphrases: "Ill met by moonlight, Titania. What are you doing here?" Each entry opens with a mood-setting, full-page illustration, including somber portraits of Macbeth and Othello from Barry Moser and Kadir Nelson, respectively, a powerful Lear family portrait from the Dillons, a cluster of amiable figures in peasant dress in Barbara McClintock's Forest of Arden tableau, and windblown views of Prospero, Miranda, and Caliban from Mark Teague. Prefaced by a lively account of Shakespeare's career, theater, and big themes, these frank, witty, sad, melodramatic, heartrending versions effectively capture the originals' timeless art-and heart. (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439321075
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2004
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.77(d)
Lexile:
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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Tales From Shakespeare 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book in the library and loved it so much, I bought it for my 5 year old son. He is enchanted. He picks out one of the gorgeous illustrations, and we read the story. Tina Packer has done a wonderful job telling the true stories without being condescending or leaving too much out. There is also Shakespeare's language throughout for seamless learning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This retelling of ten of Shakespeare¿s plays is a wonder of design. Not only including the magnificent and widely varied art of eleven different acclaimed illustrators, the lay out and design holding the book together is a pleasure to hold, to flip through and to look at. Each of the illustrators give a magnificent full page illustration on the opening spread of each new play and opposite the illustration is the strikingly set title, and a brief summery of the play. The plays are succinctly and knowledgably told, with humor and feeling, and in Tina Packer¿s writing the plays are clear and beautiful to any who read these stories. Even the introduction, (a section easy to skip in most books) is such a wonderful biography and summery of the wonder and greatness of Shakespeare¿s works that the book would be worth owning if it had nothing else between its covers.