IRA'S SHAKESPEARE DREAM by Glenda Armand

IRA'S SHAKESPEARE DREAM

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In the 1800s, an African-American boy dreamed of performing on stage and found success in Europe.

Ira Aldridge was a noted and popular Shakespearean actor in England and on the Continent, excelling in the Bard’s dramatic roles. Born to free black parents in New York City in 1807, he soon realized that America would not nurture his dreams, so he sailed for England. Success was not easy, but it did come. Aldridge, ever mindful of slavery at home, would talk to audiences after his performances and raise money for abolitionists. Armand presents the narrative in an easygoing style with imagined dialogue and scenes, focusing both on Aldridge’s childhood, when the beauty of Shakespeare’s words first enthralled him, and his later stage performances. Occasional quotes from Shakespeare add to the theatrical flavor. Cooper’s signature art style—oil wash with kneaded erasures—captures dramatic scenes from The Merchant of Venice and Othello, with shades of yellow effectively mimicking stage lighting. All in all, it’s a fine introduction for children to yet another distinguished name in the realm of African-American arts.

Shakespeare, racial discrimination, and strong doses of inspiration and determination—all in one notable life. (photograph, afterword, quotation sources, books, and websites) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-62014-155-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Lee & Low
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2015




MORE BY FLOYD COOPER

ChildrenFREDERICK DOUGLASS by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers
ChildrenA SPY CALLED JAMES by Anne Rockwell
by Anne Rockwell
ChildrenJUNETEENTH FOR MAZIE by Floyd Cooper
by Floyd Cooper

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenLEONTYNE PRICE by Carole Boston Weatherford
by Carole Boston Weatherford
ChildrenGORDON PARKS by Carole Boston Weatherford
by Carole Boston Weatherford
ChildrenJOSEPHINE by Patricia Hruby Powell
by Patricia Hruby Powell