William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Retold by Georghia Ellinas, Illustrated by Jane Ray

I am not familiar with Shakespeare’s The Tempest in its original form, so this review is from that perspective.

As a picture book this is a complex story with a lot of characters, told in first person by the magic sprite Ariel. She tells of her imprisonment in a tree on an island by the evil witch Cycorax and her son, Caliban. When Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, arrive on the island, Prospero frees Ariel but requires her to be his servant. When some people who had wronged Prospero crash on the island in a great tempest created by Ariel’s magic spells, there is an elaborate attempt to bring justice, forgiveness, and redemption. There is a lot of detail, so the writing is very succinct, descriptive, and as sparse as possible.

The illustrations are gorgeous and beautifully detailed. Some direct quotes from Shakespeare appear as wavy curves on a few of the pages.

This is a fantastic way to introduce The Bard to young readers and help all of us understand what makes him so great and beloved. I would love to see more of his plays given such a spectacular treatment as a picture book. It definitely makes me want to read the original version.

Reviewed by Terrie Bishop, Media Clerk, Academy Park Elementary School
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4- adult

William Shakespeare The Tempest
Written by Georghia Ellinas, Illustrated by Jane Ray
Candlewick Press
32 pages
Release Date: 2019
ISBN: 1536211443
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

Tags: picture book, Shakespeare, retold stories, magic, fantasy,

Categories: Picture Books

Date Submitted: 04/28/2020
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Email address: tbishop@graniteschools.org

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