I was given the hardback edition of this book and, although I don't re-read it too often, it has a comfortable place on my bookshelf. Leon Garfield's stories keep the original flavour of the plays while being easy to read. Not by any means a dumbed-down version, and the illustrations are absolutely beautiful. I can't recommend this highly enough. If you know an imaginative 8 year old, they will probably love this. Lots of people think Shakespeare is scary - but if you're reading or watching the plays after having read Garfield's story version, you won't regret it. Even if you like Shakespeare anyway, this book is a great way to keep the stories fresh and accessible.