Monsters, Magic, and Mischief: Shakespeare's Whimsical World for Kids

Monsters, Magic, and Mischief: Shakespeare's Whimsical World for Kids

Shakespeare might sound intimidating, but we like to think we have a knack for unlocking the magic within. His stories are bursting with adventure, laughter, and unforgettable characters you'll want to befriend. Dive into our collection of books and discover how Shakespeare's timeless tales can be surprisingly fun and exciting for young readers of all ages.

Romeo and Juliet or A Midsummer Night's Dream are some of the most popular and well known of Shakespeare’s Plays. But these are just a couple of the many plays written by the Great Bard, way back in the olden days and you don't need a time machine to enjoy Shakespeare's world. There are tons of awesome books that take his plays and turn them into exciting adventures perfect for young readers. These books are a fantastic way to get started with Shakespeare!

Families can unlock the Bard's magic together!

So, what plays are the best introduction to Shakespeare for young readers?

Start with plays brimming with adventure like "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with mischievous fairies or "The Tempest" featuring a shipwrecked prince on a magical island. These tales are full of fun, laughter, and characters you'll love. With a little help from books with explanations or even seeing a performance, Shakespeare's words can become your family's next exciting adventure!

The Shakespeare’s Globe shop has a wide selection of exciting and engaging books for young readers, here’s some that we think are good ones to start with.

Some books take Shakespeare's plays and adapt them for young readers, making them easier to follow.

A Midsummer Night's Drama by Louie Stowel and Isobel Lundie is a great choice, adapting A Midsummer Night's Dream for young readers with acting tips and fun illustrations.

Tales from Shakespeare by Michael Morpurgo is an award-winning book that retells some of Shakespeare's most famous stories in a clear and engaging way. Another great option is The Usborne Complete Shakespeare, which is packed with pictures, fun facts, and explanations that make Shakespeare's world easier to understand.

For the older child who wants to dive straight into the original plays, the Macmillan Collector's Library Shakespeare editions are a beautiful option. These hardcover books boast elegant designs and high-quality paper, making them a treat for any book lover. But don't be fooled by their fancy appearance – they also come with clear text and minimal footnotes, allowing young readers to focus on the story itself. If you're unsure where to start, classic comedies like "Much Ado About Nothing" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are full of humour and fantastical elements, while "Romeo and Juliet" offers a timeless story of love and loss.

Shakespeare loved a good laugh, and some stories capture his humour perfectly. Terry Deary's Best Ever Shakespeare Tales is packed with Terry Deary's signature wit, sure to have you rolling in the aisles.

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories by Angela McAllister is another collection of funny and exciting stories that will make you want to be part of the action! Perhaps you'll even be inspired to create your own play with some mischievous rat puppets – just like the mischievous Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"!

One of the very first books to introduce Shakespeare to children was Tales from Shakespeare written by brother and sister Charles and Mary Lamb. Originally published in 1807, Tales from Shakespeare remains a casket of jewels for young readers, acting as a magic key that unlocks the door to Shakespeare's thrilling stories and unforgettable characters.

Shakespeare can sometimes be intimidating, particularly for younger readers, but his plays capture the essence of life, and we find relevance in them even today. What’s the best way to introduce young people to the Bard’s work? There's no one right way to introduce Shakespeare to children! The most important thing is to have fun. Reading stories together, acting out scenes with costumes and props, even watching a movie adaptation of a Shakespeare play and, of course experiencing Shakespeare live at Shakespeare’s Globe can all be great ways to experience his work.

Shakespeare’s First Folio was created an amazing 400 years ago. Our friends at the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust have created a stunning new book of retellings of all 36 plays from the First Folio to celebrate this significant year. The Children’s First Folio takes all 36 of Shakespeare's plays and shrinks them down to a size that's perfect for young readers. Each story is expertly shortened, keeping the key parts and all of Shakespeare's original language, so you can experience the magic of his words first hand. But it gets even better! The book is filled with incredible illustrations by talented artist, Emily Sutton. These pictures bring Shakespeare's characters and worlds to life, making it easy to imagine yourself right there in the middle of the action. The best part? This book is more than just for reading. With just a few friends (as few as 8!), you can use the Children's Folio to act out scenes from your favourite plays. Imagine performing a shortened version of Romeo and Juliet or shouting out famous lines like "To be or not to be" from Hamlet!

Imagine the fun of wielding your trusty toy dagger as you recreate the thrilling duel between Romeo and Tybalt! Or zip through the forest with Puck, the mischievous fairy, sprinkling magical love potion on silly Athenian couples with a giggle! You’ll of course need a flower crown for such a quest.

Now that you’ve discovered the amazing stories written by Shakespeare imagine a world where Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and all of Shakespeare's amazing characters never existed! That almost happened because 400 years ago, plays weren't saved like books are today. The Bard and the Book by Ann Bausum is like a detective story, uncovering the secret of how Shakespeare's plays were almost lost forever! You'll learn all about the First Folio, a special book that saved Shakespeare's words for us to enjoy. It's a treasure hunt, a trivia challenge, and a love letter to Shakespeare all rolled into one – the perfect way to discover the Bard's magic from a completely new angle!

Shakespeare's plays are full of amazing stories, but let's be honest, reading all 38 of them can seem like a daunting task. The Complete Plays in One Sitting, makes it easy and entertaining by cleverly condensing each play into a short, action-packed summary, giving you a great first taste of the Bard's genius. Feeling curious about how these plays were performed and their impact over time? The Shakespeare Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained is your one-stop shop! It's a fantastic resource packed with fun facts, historical details, and explanations about how Shakespeare's plays have continued to entertain audiences for centuries.

So, there you have it! A treasure trove of books to get you started with Shakespeare. Remember, these stories are meant to be fun and exciting. So, grab a book, open your imagination, and get ready to be whisked away to a world of magic, mischief, and laughter with the Bard himself!


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