From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8-In this verbal and visual treat, readers have the opportunity to enjoy one of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies. Coville's author's note explains that his prose adaptation is "not meant as a replacement for the original, but as an appetizer for the greater feast still to come." Thus, the story is clear and carefully told, making it easy both to follow the primary and secondary plot lines and to appreciate the intricacies of their interweavings. Coville keeps the flavor of the playwright's poetic language by using actual quotes from the play and expressions and a formal sentence structure true to the style of Elizabethan times. Delightful full-page, colored pen-and-ink illustrations add just the right touch of humor to the already wacky tale. Raglin gives a distinctive identity to all of the characters, despite their attempted disguises, and he does a particularly good job of differentiating the buffoons of the subplot from the more realistically drawn dramatis personae. Colors and designs clearly suggest the Italian court dress of the times, and accurate architectural details add life to the settings. More suited to modern audiences than Charles and Mary Lamb's classic Tales from Shakespeare (Signet, 1986), and far better written than Jan Dean's Twelfth Night (Oxford, 2002), this is a version that will have young listeners begging to portray the Bard's scenes onstage. And, isn't that, after all, the whole point?-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-6. The latest in Coville's series of retold Shakespearean plays, this volume provides a short, prose version of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
, a romantic comedy that offers young people such promising elements as separated twins, a woman disguised as a man, a drunken buffoon, courtship, swordplay, mistaken identity, and a practical joke. Though simplified, the story is intact and bits of the original language are preserved. Large-scale ink drawings, warmed with tints of color and shaded with cross-hatching, clearly depict the action. As Coville states in his Author's Note, "Twelfth Night
remains one of the most read and performed of Shakespeare's plays." Children looking for a preperformance introduction to the play's twisting plot will find this an appealing choice. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved