Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Macbeth: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross

My 7-year-old read this to me over four/five evenings. This is a kids' version of the famous Shakespeare play Macbeth. It explains some of the complicated concepts of the original story in simple ways. This works well. For example the way Macduff is explained to not be born of woman is put across in a way that is easy to understand for children. The book does seem to miss some famous phrases from the original play though like "Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble."

The story contains a lot of bloodthirstiness which could be inappropriate for children, and these were my initial thoughts as we read through it. My worries were allayed though by a 2-page section at the back of the book that explains why the evil in Macbeth took place, and what was driving the killing spree of Macbeth.

The other bit at the back of the book is called "Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre". This brings alive the time of Shakespeare and his plays, and talks about Elizabethan society and how the audiences behaved. For example "audiences at the Globe were smelly".

As well as the text there are illustrations. Throughout there are plenty of black and white illustrations which help with the picturing of the text.

Overall this book is a good idea as it brings Shakespeare to a younger audience, but may be a bit bloodthirsty for some so one of the other books in the series may be more to your preference. The books can also be bought as a complete set if you wanted.

Publication date: 30 October 2003

Amazon UK link: Macbeth: A Shakespeare Story

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