Shakespeare's Tales: A Midsummer Night's Dream

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9780750250382: Shakespeare's Tales: A Midsummer Night's Dream
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As midsummer approaches, no one seems to be able to think straight about love. Not Helena hopelessly pursuing Demetrius, not the workmen rehearsing a romantic play for the celebrations, nor the Fairy King and Queen in their angry rivalry. Only the magic of midsummer's night can resolve this emotional madness. A comic story of confused lovers, pedantic actors, and jealous fairies, A Midsummer Night's Dream contains some of the most memorable characters in English literature. This short and accessible retelling captures the style of Shakespeare's original language.

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About the Author:

Beverley Birch is the author of more than 40 books, including Lottie and the Bird of Light, RiftSea Hawk, and Sea Moon.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7-10-These retellings of four of Shakespeare's best-known and perhaps best-loved plays are an attempt to provide students with prose adaptations of Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, and The Tempest. The stories are reasonably well told-certainly better than those of "The Shakespeare Collection" series (Oxford, 2002). The language will be more familiar to modern readers than Charles and Mary Lamb's classic Tales from Shakespeare (Signet, 1986) or Marchette Chute's Stories from Shakespeare (New American Library, 1959), and the plots are generally easy to follow. However, unlike Bruce Coville's picture-book series (Dial), in quoting the character's speeches, Birch frequently changes the words of the originals. For instance, Hamlet's famous line "To die, to sleep, perchance to dream- Aye there's the rub" becomes "perhaps to dream- Aye there's the obstacle." Clear? Without question, but the author's brilliant poetry is totally lost. A bigger problem with the book, however, is the artwork. Lambert's watercolors are amateurish and repetitive, and some of them are distracting, even laughable. For example, in Hamlet, when Gertrude drops the poison cup, she looks as if she's sticking her tongue out at the troubled prince, and her orange hair and blue fingernails make her look more like a painted woman than a reigning queen. This version does not do justice either to Shakespeare's characters or to his poetic genius. Use Coville's adaptations to introduce the stories, and then treat students to the Bard's original plays.
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Beverley Birch, William Shakespeare, Ted Dewan (Illustrator)
Published by Hodder & Stoughton (2007)
ISBN 10: 0750250380 ISBN 13: 9780750250382
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Beverley Birch; William Shakespeare
Published by Hodder & Stoughton (2007)
ISBN 10: 0750250380 ISBN 13: 9780750250382
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