Pop-up Shakespeare: Every play and poem in pop-up 3-D Hardcover – 7 Sep 2017
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"[...] spectacular [...]" * The Bookseller * The plays are really the thing, but these concise and often hilarious takes offer tantalizing hints of their enduring value, along with their content. * Starred Kirkus Review * For readers intimidated by Shakespeare, it's hard to imagine a more entertaining way to get a sense of what these classics are about. * Publishers Weekly * "Five stars! Humorous and cheeky... (it) breaks stereotypes of how Shakespeare should be learned or experienced." * Play Shakespeare * "[...] an absolute treat of a nonfiction book that serves as an accurate if often irreverent introduction to the Bard. [...] This is an ideal gift book for older children." * The Irish Times * "[...] an exciting book with spectacular paper engineering and lots of intriguing flaps to lift." * Books for Keeps, 4 stars * "Pop-Up Shakespeare sums up 39 plays in 20 irreverent pages, with pop-up illustrations by Jennie Maizels. "Families can drive you crazy" is the satisfyingly concise resume of King Lear." * The Daily Telegraph * "39 Shakespeare plays in one brilliant pop-up book. Every school should have this on the syllabus" * The Guardian * "A hilarious summing-up of the Bard's oeuvre, with lively illustrations and information-crammed secret flaps." * The Metro * "An entertaining introduction to Shakespeare, featuring interactive spreads filled with pop-ups, fun foldouts, hilarious summaries, and fascinating commentaries. [...] An accessible and fun read for anyone who wants to learn about Shakespeare in a less intense way." * Carousel *
About the Author
The Reduced Shakespeare Company® has created ten world-renowned stage shows, two television specials and numerous radio pieces, all of which have been performed, seen, and heard the world over. The company’s itinerary has included stops at London’s West End, Edinburgh Festival and the White House, as well as performances in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Singapore and Bermuda, plus countless tours of the USA, the UK and Europe.
Jennie Maizels studied illustration at Central St Martin's School of Art and Design and graduated in 1993. She is best known for her groundbreaking, fun non-fiction books for children, such as Pop-up New York, Pop-Up London and The Terrific Times Tables Book. Jennie lives in Hampshire with her husband and two children. www.jenniemaizels.com
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Today it's common for primary school children to study Shakespeare. This would be ideal.
The book begins with Shakespeare and has a brief introduction in a box at the top of the double page along with lots of fun snippets of information dotted around the page, many of them inside flaps you have to open. This information is fascinating even to me as an adult as I really didn't know much about Shakespeare's life, such as information about him writing notes in gloves for his glove-maker father. The fun flaps are very colourful and there are lots of fun things to open and read about.
After covering Shakespeare's life, each other double page then focuses on his plays and poems, arranged into the categories of: Comedies, Histories, Romances and Tragedies. What amazes me about these double pages is that in just one double page you get all the plays! There are pictures and snippets of text on each page about each of his plays and along with the brief description of the play there is also an orange book pictured which says 'Long story short...' and explains each play in a brief and funny way such as the sum-up of Romeo and Juliet is: Teenage marriages are almost always a bad idea!
The illustrations and overall feel of this book is so fun and engaging. Each page is colourful and the snippets of text and illustrations are all made fun to read. The pictures are also funny and even if you didn't quite understand what's written (which I find impossible as it's written so well and simply) the pictures really help explain the plays further. The fun way all the information, both images and text, is arranged and presented makes learning about Shakespeare and his plays very fun without feeling like you are learning something at all. This is especially good as Shakespeare has always been a tough subject with some people disliking it.
Each page has many different pop-up features and I just love the way that the whole page comes alive. There are flaps to lift open and read as well as whole walls which spring up and flaps to lift and fold back so they stay standing while you take a look at their back. In a few places there are books which means that rather than lifting one flap you lift two in the same place, like reading a mini book. It doesn't seem like so much information could be packed into one double page spread but the wonderful thing about this book and why I find the pop-up art just amazing to even look at is that you have to view it from more than one angle. Some of the plays that pop-up out of the book have they're descriptions on the back, and in some cases there is one play on one side of the pop-up wall with another play and its information on the other side. The book even advises turning it around to see everything clearly so be prepared to open this book flat and look at it from different sides!
I really love this book and urge anyone new to Shakespeare, or anyone that feels lost when it comes to Shakespeare, to give this a read. It's a great introduction for both adults and kids and I really would have found my own study of Shakespeare in secondary school so much easier had I been able to read this book when I was younger. I feel like this book has helped me understand some of the plays more and I'm especially keen to read or see some of them such as The Winter's Tale or even Titus Andronicus as the latter has such a weird plot about what happens to all the baddies!
Another great thing about this book is the fact that it doesn't just focus on the plays of Shakespeare but also explains his poems, his long poems and shorter ones called sonnets. While it doesn't explain every single poem it does explain about them and about poetry at that time too.
This really is a fun book, not only because pop-up books are fun but you learn so much and in such a fun way, I really recommend this book to everyone of any age!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
Starting off with the great playwright himself, we get to delve into William Shakespeare’s life, from what little we know about it, unearthing fascinating facts – Did you know that he was buried in ‘Holy Trinity Church’ and on his gravestone is a poem warning people about moving his bones? It didn’t work though as it has been revealed that his skull is missing from his grave.
The book splits his plays into categories over a double page:-
Comedies – Twelfth Night, A Midsummers Night’s Dream, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Plus three that are seen as ‘Problem Plays’ – Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida and All’s Well that Ends Well.
Histories – Richard II, Richard III, King John, Henry IV (Parts One and Two), Henry V, Henry VI (Parts One, Two, Three) and Henry VIII.
Romances – The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Missing Gardenio, and Pericles, Prince of Tyne.
Tragedies – Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, and Timon of Athens.
In each section there is information on each play, fun facts, and quotes, surrounded by stunning bright and colourful artwork, and of course a huge pop-up, which is double sided. There are also flaps to lift and doors to open too.
This book is truly superb. The text is kept quite short in relation to each play, with added illustrations for each. There are also lots of speech bubbles with funny remarks.
I particularly liked the ‘Long Story Short’ which was on each play. Basically, it tells you about the moral behind the play in just a few words.
The whole book is educational from beginning to end. It would be perfect for a school library, though I would worry about the book becoming ruined by a child being too rough with it.
I’ve not seen an easier, or more interesting way to learn about all of Shakespeare’s plays together.
Book Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed