Friday, June 5, 2015

Shakespeare for Children (Tantor Media)

Shakespeare for Children was composed by Charles and Mary Lamb (siblings not spouses) in 1807 as what was originally intended as an introduction to Shakespeare. In this work, they took ten of Shakespeare's plays and made them more kid-friendly by mixing their words with his words. The ten plays in this work, a mix of comedies and tragedies, are as follows:

1. The Tempest
2. A Midsummer Night's Dream
3. Much Ado About Nothing
4. King Lear
5. Macbeth
6. The Taming of the Shrew
7. Twelfth Night
8. Romeo and Juliet
9. Hamlet
10. Othello

It's hard enough to understand Shakespeare when you are in high school, so it seems counter-intuitive to try and present it to children. However, the Lamb siblings manage to make the material approachable without dumbing it down. I applaud that, because I think children respect that. For the most part, children want to be treated with respect and not talked down to. It's no wonder that this is a homeschooling favorite, and it should be a classroom favorite as well! The audio version of these stories range from approximately 25 minutes to 45 minutes. The narrators, Josephine Bailey and Simon Vance, prove to be very regal and match the beauty that is Shakespeare. When buying direct from Tantor Media, you receive a PDF of the book so you can follow along while listening. At $4.99 for an MP3 download, I consider this a steal. If you have young kids looking for something "new" to read, get them this and listen along with them!

This book was provided to me for free by Tantor Media in exchange for an honest review.