ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE by Rebecca Piatt Davidson


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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A creative introduction to Shakespeare combines rhyming descriptions of some of the Bard’s well-known characters with painterly illustrations in watercolor and white gouache. The text, in the style of “This Is the House that Jack Built,” begins with young William and the Muse, who inspires him, then cumulatively introduces readers to Hamlet, Kate from The Taming of the Shrew, the feuding daughters of King Lear, and others. The names of the characters aren’t revealed in the rhymes; they’re for readers to figure out, and are unveiled in a key at the end that also provides brief information about the plays and other characters pictured. The marvelously integrated spreads include increasingly complex tableaux featuring all the characters as they appear in the text on the verso and a scene from the play in which the character appears on the recto, accompanied by a quote from the character in question. It’s too bad that those of picture book age are too young to read or understand Shakespeare’s plays once their interest has been piqued by these clever rhymes and richly-colored paintings. Nevertheless, this inventive approach, so well put together, will appeal to theater buffs and those teachers bound on introducing Shakespeare to those in elementary school. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-029626-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2003


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