Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S TWELFTH NIGHT by Bruce Coville

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S TWELFTH NIGHT

By Bruce Coville (Adaptor) , Tim Raglin (Illustrator)

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8037-2318-0
Publisher: Dial

Coville, who’s done so well with these in the past (Romeo and Juliet, 1999, etc), prefaces his latest Shakespearean retelling with the claim that its themes of trying on a new identity and having to yearn in silence for another will carry particular resonance for young readers as “the struggle of adolescence in microcosm!” Perhaps—but even more attractive, to teenagers and preadolescents alike, is the nonstop pace with which pranks, jests, twists, and mistaken identities in this tale of shipwrecked, separately rescued twins, tumble over each other. Coville creates a capable digest, but even his antic gifts are severely tested by Raglin’s leaden tableaus, all of which feature frozen, staring figures in period dress, their glum or exaggeratedly clownish visages lacking any saving sympathy or real humor. It’s hard to believe that this is the same witty artist whose interpretation of The Wolf Who Cried Boy (2002) shared equally in the humor. Prospective audiences or cast members will get a clear sense of the play’s tangled plot from this, but will have to see it performed to fully appreciate its sheer hilarity and joyful climax. (Picture book. 9-12)