Monday, April 25, 2016

Shakespeare for Children {Part 1}


If you find the thought intimidating, well you and me both. I know
of a few moms who read Shakespeare to their children because
Shakespeare is something dear to them. They are intimate with
the works and are merely passing the torch to the next generation.

I, on the other hand, have a very limited knowledge of Shakespeare.
I know of Romeo and Juliet but not much more beyond that.

Now here I am today, a mom of a 6yo, a 3.5yo and a 1.5yo, excited
to be introducing The Bard's works to my little ones.

Here are some books we'll be taking along on the journey:

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb presents
Shakespeare's works as simple stories for the children to enjoy.
The book was first published in 1807, and is said to have started
the sub genre which we now know to be Children's Shakespeare.

Once the kids are nicely settled and eating their afternoon snack,
I pull out Tales from Shakespeare and read a few pages at a time.
I usually start with a recap of what's happened then continue on
past where we ended. Nothing fancy. Just mom and the kids
reading a book and enjoying the afternoon. I'll be honest, I'll be
lucky to get in 10minutes of read aloud time. Patience. Patience.
Patience. It all builds up. When the kids get squirmy, I put down
the book and we're done for the day.

Tales from Shakespeare is available online for free. You may
find the out of copyright version here.

Shakespeare's Stories for Young Readers by E. Nesbit is another
classic Children's Shakespeare book. I posted this next so you
can compare it against the Lamb version. Either would be a good
introductory book for children.

You may find the free out of copyright version here.

I so love Teach Your Child Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig. Ludwig
introduces us to some of his favourite passages and explains what's
going on in the text. What's the story about? Why did this character
say such? What key passages should we take to heart? As a
playwright and theatre director, Ludwig's experience translated
into a book that has made the plays come to life.

Our family has been slowly trying to incorporate memory work
into our meal times. We've tried poetry and bible verses. Shakespeare
is getting thrown into the mix as well. Teach Your Child Shakespeare
has great tips on how to go about memorizing Shakespeare. This book
is worth looking into if you want to take this route.

Books you may want to consider, depending on the age and
interest of your child:

I know some moms who're fans of the Shakespeare's retellings by
Bruce Coville. The pictures are beautifully drawn and the stories
are well written. The books remind me of the illustrated classics
that I read when I was a child.

Im sure young children will have fun with The Shakespeare Can Be
Fun! books. The approach of this series is more modern than the
other books mentioned. I'm sure my children will easily relate to
the illustrations in the book. Im tempted to go with this series next.

Mr. William Shakespeare's Plays by Marcia Williams is another
popular modern book that would appeal to children who like
comic books. The text is a bit small so it might appeal to those
who are already confident readers.

There you have it, a few books on Shakespeare for Children.
I hope you enjoy reading the books as much as we do in our home!

No comments:

Post a Comment