Review: Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet


Title: Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet
Author: William Shakespeare
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: October 21, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hailed as one of the greatest romantic tragedies ever written, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the tragic love story of the ‘star-crossed lovers’, Romeo and Juliet. Set in the city of Verona, Italy, the play revolves around the feud between two affluent families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Despite the enmity, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall passionately in love and wed in secret. However, the curse of enmity overpowers and everything goes terribly wrong.

Review:

Romeo and Juliet was the first Shakespeare play that I read. My class put on a condensed version of the play when I was ten, and I later read it in middle school. I think it is a good choice for introducing children to Shakespeare. 

This is a good version of the story. I liked the illustrations that went along with it. They would help children follow along with the story. Some of the men were drawn in a similar way, like Mercutio, Benvolio, and Tybalt. But Romeo and Juliet were distinctly illustrated. 

I liked the way that some of the most famous lines from the play were paraphrased so modern children would understand. For instance, in the balcony scene, Juliet says “O Romeo, Romeo! Why do you have to be Romeo?” rather than “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” This way, children will learn what the characters are saying without getting confused by Shakespeare’s phrasing. 

At times I found the story to get a little confusing. Especially at the beginning, there is a lot of “he did this, then this, then this.” However, the main points of the story were clear. 

This is a great book to introduce children to Shakespeare. 

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