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Tales From Shakespeare Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 2004


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 1, 2004
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439321077
  • ASIN: B002ECEVSO
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This is an excellent introduction to Shakespeare.
emily
This book is really for children and can help others learn about Shakespeare's works without the intimidation of his works.
Sylviastel
Stunning illustrations and accessible retellings of Shakespeare's most beloved plays.
Vicki L. Plant

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Delirium on April 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was happy that there is something available for kids that would introduce them to Shakespeare. However, I still had to use my own words even for narrative. You really can't do much about Shakespeare's words and you would not want to, but the narrative and other explanations should have been made easier to read. They read more like narratives for operas with "dote", "sprite", "vowed", "disdainful", "enarmored", "braying", "loathsome" etc all over the place.

My kids are under 10 and I was hoping that with my help they will enjoy the book. They did, but I had to really work on it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Vicki L. Plant on September 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Absolutely beautiful! Stunning illustrations and accessible retellings of Shakespeare's most beloved plays. An excellent early introduction for children and a wonderful edition for anyone who cherishes Shakespeare.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on August 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Even very young children will enjoy these retellings of Shakespeare's plays, each one with a beautiful illustration.

The plays (and the illustrators) are:

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Gail de Marcken)
Hamlet (P.J. Lynch)
Much Ado About Nothing (Mary GrandPre)
Macbeth (Barry Moser)
The Tempest (Mark Teague)
Othello (Kadir Nelson)
As You Like It (Barbara McClintock)
Romeo and Juliet (David Shannon)
Twelfth Night (Chesley McLaren)
King Lear (Leo and Diane Dillon)

There is an illustration of the Bard himself done by Jon J Muth.

This is a collection worth keeping, both for its readability and for the fine quality of the workmanship. Most of the language is Shakespeare's.

If you enjoy these, check out "THe Young Reader's Shakespeare" series by Adam McKeown. Each play is longer, there is even more of Shakespeare's language, and there are more illustrations.
The Young Reader's Shakespeare: Macbeth
The Young Reader's Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet
The Young Reader's Shakespeare: Julius Caesar
The Young Reader's Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Young Reader's Shakespeare: Othello
Hamlet (The Young Reader's Shakespeare)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sylviastel VINE VOICE on March 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
William Shakespeare's works can be intimidating to a novice or even veteran. It is clear by Tina Packer who has been the artistic director and developer of the American theatrical company, Shakespeare & Company, in Lenox, Massachusetts of her love and admiration for the Bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon. This book is really for children and can help others learn about Shakespeare's works without the intimidation of his works. Tina Packer should be awarded Damehood. She is a British citizen and an alumni of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts as well as an associate member. When she came to the US in 1972, she brought Shakespeare to the Berkshires and her love and admiration to the Bard if obvious as you read her work. She doesn't write much about herself in here. It's all about Shakespeare who is relevant still after his death over 5 centuries ago.

In this book, there are beautiful illustrations capturing the scenes. The book also contains his major works with characters and a brief summary of the actions in their plays. The play synopsis reads like a short story and perfect for anybody who needs to know their Shakespeare.

This book is a perfect introduction to those whether young or old to know Shakespeare. As for me, I'm not the biggest Shakespeare fan but I see and understand his relevance to today's society. He was really the master playwright and his storylines are often reproduced even on reality television shows, theatre, or even the daytime soaps.

Shakespeare's works are combination of human interactions in love, work, and family. Maybe we don't realize that Shakespeare was the first to acknowledge them in a more familiar setting. Of course, nobody speaks that way today and maybe they didn't in his time.
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