William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Joining Bruce Coville's earlier prose adaptations of Shakespeare's plays is this picture book treatment of the Bard's most popular work ever. The tender story of the young star-crossed lovers from warring families, Romeo and Juliet has moved audiences to tears for four hundred years. And Coville tells it in a way that will surely whet the appetite of young audiences, who will then find even greater enjoyment in the original. As with his earlier adaptations, Coville expertly combines his own dramatic language with...

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Overview

Joining Bruce Coville's earlier prose adaptations of Shakespeare's plays is this picture book treatment of the Bard's most popular work ever. The tender story of the young star-crossed lovers from warring families, Romeo and Juliet has moved audiences to tears for four hundred years. And Coville tells it in a way that will surely whet the appetite of young audiences, who will then find even greater enjoyment in the original. As with his earlier adaptations, Coville expertly combines his own dramatic language with key lines from the play. Dennis Nolan, who illustrated Coville's version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, contributes stunning paintings, including a gatefold of the famous balcony scene. In addition to A Midsummer Night's Dream, which Publishers Weekly called "A first rate entree to the Bard," Coville also retold The Tempest and Macbeth. Of the latter, School Library Journal said, "Coville's muscular sentences, full of dramatic word choices, make this a good read-aloud." Both Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream were honored as ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults.

@DefNotAHomeo Found fair Juliet. She’s dead, and definitely not faking it! (Didn’t move when I poked her there.) Alas, I must drink this terrible brew.

‘O, I am fortune’s fool!’ Maybe just a tool. And so I die. BTW that other woman I was into before Juliet? Would’ve been a safer bet.

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

A simplified prose retelling of Shakespeare's play about two young people who defy their warring families' prejudices and dare to fall in love.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Laura Hummel
"O she doth teach the torches to burn bright. Beauty too rich for use, for Earth too dear" murmured Romeo upon seeing Juliet for the first time. She too loves Romeo at first sight, but alas the two are from warring families. Tragedy follows both lovers and their families in Coville's version of Shakespeare's famous play. The author skillfully combines his own prose with key lines from the script. Young readers will delight in a version that is true to the original, yet easy to understand. Beautiful and emotional illustrations accompany the text, including a brilliant gatefold of the balcony scene where the two young lovers profess their devotion to one another. Both devoted Shakespeare fans and newcomers will enjoy countless hours of the dramatic text, making this an ideal read-aloud and discussion provoker.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A well-told prose adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy. Using such language as, "The barest hint of moonlight dusted Verona's streets-," Coville captures the feel of Shakespeare's poetic verse, and includes many of the most famous lines of the play in the characters' dialogue. Occasionally, some of this dialogue has been altered, e.g., Juliet's "Deny thy father and refuse thy name" becomes the less flowing "Discard thy name," and Mercutio's "The slip, sire, the slip" becomes "Romeo, you gave us the slip last night," but such changes, while distracting to purists, enhance the comprehension for modern-day readers. The colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations are a perfect complement to this retelling. Paying scant attention to background details, the artist instead captures the essence of the scenes through vibrant facial expressions, focusing on the tender spirit of the young lovers and the explosive anger of their feuding relatives. One of the loveliest drawings, and one of the most striking features of the book, is that of the balcony scene, which unfolds vertically. Written in simpler prose than Charles and Mary Lamb's classic Tales from Shakespeare Random, 1986 yet more poetic than Marchette Chute's Stories from Shakespeare Meridian, 1959 or Jennifer Mulherin's "Shakespeare for Everyone" series Silver Burdett, Coville and Nolan's collaboration is sure to win votes from readers who are looking for something romantic yet more substantive than the standard teen fare. A definite boost to both public and school Shakespearean collections.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803724624
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: Bruce Coville's William Shakespeare Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.88 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Coville
Bruce Coville


BRUCE COVILLE has written more than ninety books for young readers, and he won the California Young Readers Medal for Jennifer Murdley’s Toad and for Armageddon Summer, cowritten with Jane Yolen. He lives in Syracuse, New York.

 
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    beautifully told

    Softly, gently told with its careful watercolor and color illustrations, portraying in misted romanticism the beauty and sorrow of their young love. Coville¿s retelling is as usual, beautifully done, incorporating Shakespeare¿s text all through the dialogue contained, and the lay out gives the book a faint antiquated flavor, with narrow illustrations flanking the text, and nearly all of the pictures portraying people, especially the lovers in their violent delight coming to a violent end. One particularly lovely illustration is a fold-up page which shows the Juliet looking down from the balcony on Romeo¿s upturned face. In some ways it does not have as strong a telling of the tale as some of Coville¿s other collaborations, but it is a triumph and an excellent retelling nonetheless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2001

    Beautiful Illustration

    Beautiful book wonderful approach to a great classic for first readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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