A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories
by Angela McAllister and Alice Lindstorm
E-arc, 128 pages
Published September 6th, 2018 by Lincoln Children’s Books
Step on to a stage full of stories with this beautiful anthology of 12 stories from Shakespeare. Featuring much-loved classics such as The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Othello, each story is rewritten in a comprehensive way that is accessible for children and stunningly illustrated by collage artist Alice Lindstrom. This lavish follow-up to A Year Full of Stories and A World Full of Animal Stories is the perfect gift for book lovers young and old.
I received an e-ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I never read Shakespeare, but I always wanted to just because of the hype. He’s like, the most famous author of all time. His plays are everywhere, both in written or performed form, movies, shows, and books…. he’s just EVERYWHERE. However, I also know that his writing is pretty intimidating- trust me, I’ve read the first couple of pages of A Midsummer Night’s Dream before giving up and never give it another try. So when I saw this book on Netgalley, I immediately requested it, knowing it would be a perfect getaway for me to the world of Shakespeare and finally understanding the stories about them plays.
And I was right. A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories features 12 of Shakespeare most famous plays: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Othello, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, The Merchant of Venice. Each play is rewritten so they formed a story in a modern language, with some original quotations thrown here and there.
While it seems like it was a children’s books with its vibrant illustrations, I think it’s actually perfect for all ages. The writing and original quotations blend seamlessly and the stories did not lose its essence. However, some parts may lose its cohesiveness and felt rushed, for example, in King Lear I had to wikipedia’d the whole story as the one in this book ends very abruptly.
The illustrations are very nice too, they are cute and vibrant when needed, but can also be gloomy in tragic moments- which, since this is a Shakespeare book, is a lot. They really give life to the stories and characters. And I love how at the end of this book there are some biography about Bard and small summary/background of each featured plays.
A quick section of my impression on Shakespeare plays:
- Despite being an englishmen, he really loves to take an Italian setting, didn’t he
- When it comes to comedy, he can be really funny. But when it comes to comedy, he really didn’t play.
- Why is his stories that involves Kings never end well? Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Julius Caesar… did he have anything against his King? Anyone knows?
- Too much insta-love. Like, too much.
- Romeo and Juliet is overhyped.
To close this review, here are my top 3 favorites:
01. Much Ado About Nothing // Love me some witty banter and love/hate relationship! Benedict and Rosalind really preceeds Darcy and Elizabeth!
02. Julius Caesar // You know I love my ancient settings, and Shakespeare really put a spin on the story!
03. Macbeth // Oh the dark theme! From the three fates to the tragedy and bravery that follows, I understand the hype around this one.
Have you ever read/see Shakespeare plays? Which one is your favorite?