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Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Kids
ISBN: 9781590179314
Pages: 576
Publication Date: November 3, 2015

Leon Garfield's Shakespeare Stories

by Leon Garfield, illustrated by Michael Foreman


How to introduce children to Shakespeare, not just to the stories behind the plays but to the richness of Shakespeare’s language and the depth of his characters: That’s the challenge that Leon Garfield, no slouch as a wordsmith himself, sets out to meet in his monumental and utterly absorbing Shakespeare Stories. Here twenty-one of the Bard’s plays are refashioned into stories that are true to the wit, the humor, the wisdom, the sublime heights, the terrifying depths, and above all the poetry of their great originals. Throughout, Garfield skillfully weaves in Shakespeare’s own words, accustoming young readers to language and lines that might at first seem forbiddingly unfamiliar. Leon Garfield’s Shakespeare Stories is an essential distillation—a truly Shakespearean tribute to Shakespeare’s genius and a delight for children and parents alike.

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michael foreman


In these lively and evocative pages a child will hear Shakespeare’s poetry set in prose that will lay the groundwork for many a future enchanted evening at the theater.
—Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

Leon Garfield’s performance in Shakespeare Stories is masterly. The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream best reveal the virtuosity Mr. Garfield has developed in many years of writing dozens of children’s books and historical novels. In Mr. Garfield’s deft narratives the laughter is the same that one finds in the plays, but so is the uneasiness. He gets the balances right.
—D. J. R. Bruckner, The New York Times

Here is an alternative to yellow study guides, one in which explication is available in the graceful prose. The romances are appealing, and Garfield’s seamless movement between his own descriptive language and Shakespeare’s has never worked better.
—Sally Margolis, School Library Journal

The most accessible introduction to the Bard ever.
Woman & Home