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William Shakespeare & the Globe (Trophy Picture Books (Paperback)) Paperback – August 8, 2000
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"How many ages hence/ Shall this our lofty scene be acted over/ In states unborn and accents yet unknown!" In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, he prophesies his own future more accurately than he may ever have dreamed. Although Shakespeare's works have touched people everywhere, very little is known of his life. Well-loved author and illustrator Aliki pulls together clues from writings, drawings, history, birth, marriage, and death records, and from Shakespeare's own plays, in this vibrant introduction to one of the greatest writers of all time.
Cleverly arranged as a play, with an aside and acts one through five, the book features a quotation from one of Shakespeare's plays on every spread. Bite-sized chunks of text are interspersed with the lovely detailed illustrations Aliki is famous for, making what might be a difficult subject very accessible. In addition, there are charts listing Shakespeare's plays, a chronology of his life, sidebars with mini-biographies of significant people in his life, and a partial list of words and expressions he invented (gloomy, moonbeam, mountaineer, zany, and bated breath, among 2,000 others!). Aliki also devotes a special section to Sam Wanamaker, a 20th-century man with a dream to reopen Shakespeare's Globe playhouse in London. (Ages 7 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From Publishers Weekly
William Shakespeare may get top billing in the title of this picture book, but the emphasis within is less certain. Aliki (Mummies Made in Egypt) doesn't investigate Shakespeare as a personality; dividing her work into five "acts," she focuses more on Elizabethan culture, dramatic conventions and living conditions, then shifts to Sam Wanamaker and the process of renovating the Globe in the 20th century. Aliki employs serviceable, almost pedestrian statements to convey the history, stretching occasionally toward cleverness. Of the open-ceilinged Globe, she comments, "When it rained, [the audience] knew it." The material on Wanamaker's restoration sheds light on the process by which the new Globe was built ("The first and only thatched roof in London since 1666"), although the character of Sam, with whom readers are meant to identify, remains bland. Pages are loaded with small panel illustrations of characters and historic figures in exaggerated poses. They capture a jolly theatrical spirit (nearly everyone in the quaint colored-pencil pictures wears a gentle smile), yet the many crowd scenes do not repay scrutiny. Unlike Diane Stanley's work in Bard of Avon, these pictures give only a broad idea of the historical context. Quotations from the bard populate the margins, and numerous appendixes provide facts. The wide range of information here makes this book a useful introduction to Elizabethan theater, despite its disparate themes and generalized pictures. All ages. (May)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.