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Shakespeare's Stories for Young Readers (Dover Children's Classics)

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Twelve of Shakespeare's greatest tales come to life in this entertaining collection of short, lively stories specially adapted for young readers. Capturing the vital events and using some of the original wording, the stories serve as a perfect introduction to Shakespeare for preteens and as literate refreshers for older folks. Fulfilling a request from her own children, aut Twelve of Shakespeare's greatest tales come to life in this entertaining collection of short, lively stories specially adapted for young readers. Capturing the vital events and using some of the original wording, the stories serve as a perfect introduction to Shakespeare for preteens and as literate refreshers for older folks. Fulfilling a request from her own children, author Edith Nesbit turned twelve of the Bard's most famous plays into delightful tales of kings, queens, ghosts, and witches. Filled with tragedy, humor, and moral lessons, the stories--told with wit and grace--include "Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cymbeline, The Taming of the Shrew, Pericles, "and "The Winter's Tale." Wonderfully transformed by the noted author of children's books, these classics are a great way to start a lifelong interest in the works of Shakespeare.


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Twelve of Shakespeare's greatest tales come to life in this entertaining collection of short, lively stories specially adapted for young readers. Capturing the vital events and using some of the original wording, the stories serve as a perfect introduction to Shakespeare for preteens and as literate refreshers for older folks. Fulfilling a request from her own children, aut Twelve of Shakespeare's greatest tales come to life in this entertaining collection of short, lively stories specially adapted for young readers. Capturing the vital events and using some of the original wording, the stories serve as a perfect introduction to Shakespeare for preteens and as literate refreshers for older folks. Fulfilling a request from her own children, author Edith Nesbit turned twelve of the Bard's most famous plays into delightful tales of kings, queens, ghosts, and witches. Filled with tragedy, humor, and moral lessons, the stories--told with wit and grace--include "Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cymbeline, The Taming of the Shrew, Pericles, "and "The Winter's Tale." Wonderfully transformed by the noted author of children's books, these classics are a great way to start a lifelong interest in the works of Shakespeare.

30 review for Shakespeare's Stories for Young Readers (Dover Children's Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I expected to like this more. I appreciated having condensed stories to introduce my kids to Shakespeare. Some read well, others were quite confusing and felt very rushed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    The_Mad_Swede

    In her introduction, Edith Nesbit relates how she tried to introduce Shakespeare to her children, but discovering that the language of his plays (beautiful as though it is) was a barrier between the fantastic tales and her children. Thus, in an effort to amend this, she started to retell the stories for them in her own words, the book at hand representing twelve such retellings (of Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, Cymbeline, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Tw In her introduction, Edith Nesbit relates how she tried to introduce Shakespeare to her children, but discovering that the language of his plays (beautiful as though it is) was a barrier between the fantastic tales and her children. Thus, in an effort to amend this, she started to retell the stories for them in her own words, the book at hand representing twelve such retellings (of Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, Cymbeline, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Pericles, The Merchant of Venice and The Winter's Tale). Ironically, Nesbit's introduction is the best part of the book. It tells a moving story effectively, whereas the rewritings of Shakespeare end up quite the tongue twisters. I started reading this book with my eight-year-old in the hopes of introducing Shakespeare's stories and lay the foundation for an appreciation for the Bard, but at this point, after having finished the chore of reading the last tale on my own (and yes, even I felt it was a chore, but I stubbornly wanted to finish it), I sincerely hope I have not achieve the inverse of my intent. This book may possibly have worked for children in 1900, when Nesbit wrote (though I am not entirely convinced), but it does not really work now. These are not linguistically modified for children; in fact, the language is often convoluted in a manner that makes it difficult to read out loud, with the occasional dialogue plucked directly from Shakespeare (which is a nice touch for the more advanced, adult reader, but honestly gets us right back to the original language barrier, Nesbit's mission statement is to overcome). The end result is a confused and boring read that in no way does Shakespeare justice, and miserably fails to achieve what it sets out to do.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marcie

    E. Nesbit has written many children's books. The one I'm most familiar with is The Railway Children. I really like that book and it influenced my decision to purchase this book. In the introduction of Shakespeare's Stories for Young Children, E. Nesbit explains her reasons for writing this book. She explains that her children love Shakespeare's story lines but at the time were too young to enjoy the actual play. So she took some of Shakespeare's most famous plays and summarized them, making it e E. Nesbit has written many children's books. The one I'm most familiar with is The Railway Children. I really like that book and it influenced my decision to purchase this book. In the introduction of Shakespeare's Stories for Young Children, E. Nesbit explains her reasons for writing this book. She explains that her children love Shakespeare's story lines but at the time were too young to enjoy the actual play. So she took some of Shakespeare's most famous plays and summarized them, making it easier for children to understand. Shakespeare's influence is found everywhere and I wanted my children to be familiar with his plays. However Shakespeare didn't write for children and I know mine wouldn't understand the language and would be bored in a matter of pages. E. Nesbit did a great job explaining the stories. My children were able to comprehend the stories with little explanation. Each chapter is a different play and about six pages. She also includes direct quotes from the plays. It's the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for young children.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Lewis

    As a preparation to go see Shakespeare's First Folio, which is currently making its rounds to each state as a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, I bought this book to introduce my daughters, ages 8 & 10, to the works of The Bard. My 10 year old adored it. I thought it was well done. E. Nesbit has an eloquent way of conveying the basic essence of the plays without the complications of complex language structures. My daughters were able to follow along rather well, to the As a preparation to go see Shakespeare's First Folio, which is currently making its rounds to each state as a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, I bought this book to introduce my daughters, ages 8 & 10, to the works of The Bard. My 10 year old adored it. I thought it was well done. E. Nesbit has an eloquent way of conveying the basic essence of the plays without the complications of complex language structures. My daughters were able to follow along rather well, to the live performance because this book introduced them to a basic plot lines and stories. Each play is pretty brief, just a few pages on my e-reader...a great length for children. Further, any awkwardness created because of the desire to include one of the more well-known quotes from Shakespeare's work, is lost on children, and they feel quite empowered at knowing and showing off their Shakespearean knowledge.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Atwood

    We tiptoed into Shakespeare this school year and this book was the perfect way for the boys and me to do that in our Morning Time, giving us a broad view of his plays.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    I love the story of King liar

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This short book tells twelve of Shakespeare’s plays in an easy to understand way for children. The synopses are just a few pages each, but hit all the major plot points. It’s an excellent introduction to Shakespeare for kids far too young to understand the language in the actual plays. I highly recommend reading Shakespeare’s Stories for Young Readers!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike Snodgrass

    Nice little introduction to Shakes that you could read aloud to your kids and keep them mostly entertained.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily Faria

    Loved it Great way to introduce Shakespeare to young readers very entertaining for the whole family great for nine year old girl

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maia Adams

    It’s interesting to see all the different stories retold in my kind of way.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lafcadio

    These stories are simplified enough for young readers, but still not super appealing to young readers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Holter

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Linn

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nate

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anna at A Wondrous Bookshelf

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Shields

  18. 4 out of 5

    CoconutQueen

  19. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Renee Good

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melody

  21. 5 out of 5

    Momma Aimee

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rolando Gachter

  23. 4 out of 5

    Abiy A. Meshesha

  24. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Smith

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mandi Gerth

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Salzone

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily Hamilton

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