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Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare!

por Marcia Williams

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1874110,549 (3.86)1
Presents the stories of seven Shakespeare plays by including actual dialogue in the illustrations, summarizing the plots in picture captions, and showing the comments and actions of audience members on the sides and bottom of the pages.
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From the acclaimed author/illustrator Marcia Williams comes BRAVO! MR. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, an entertaining and colorful collection of 7 plays from Shakespeare. Each play is somehow depicted in just a few pages, in rich detail and with several added elements. How does she do it? I will attempt to break down her page layout, to describe each of the pieces that contribute to her execution of each play. Each page takes some time to read!

-First, the titles. They are creatively displayed in a fitting illustration: a pyramid for Antony and Cleopatra, a shield and spear for Richard III.
-Second, the illustrated panels, which read like a comic strip. They vary in shape and size, but read in a predictable fashion, like the Sunday paper comics.
-The prose itself. In addition to the comic strip panels, which have text (mostly dialogue) of their own, Williams has retold the stories for young readers for them to read along with the illustrations. They are mutually beneficial.
-In the left, right, and bottom margins of each page, there are illustrated characters that are meant to be like the audience. Early in the book, they explain about groundlings and lords and the Globe theater, and they comment on and provide insights into the plays. These often humorous scenes add a whole other layer and dimension to this work as a whole. It has a sort of 4th-wall feel to it that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, and I think this could be a natural way for students to begin to see the plays as something to interpret, analyze, and discuss-just as these "audience" characters do.

Although each page of this book is incredibly and richly detailed, overall this book is quite simple. Other than the inside cover sleeves, there are no appended materials or other access features. So, I think this book is wonderful in addition to other materials on Shakespeare, as a nice-to-have but perhaps not essential part of a Shakespeare unit. That being said, it is incredibly enjoyable and engaging- especially for young readers-- and I think it more that achieves the author's stated goal: that her accessible format and humorously detailed illustrations will help young readers discover the riches in--and the continual relevance of--Shakespeare's work, and will lead them to further enjoyment of the original plays. ( )
  andrewzutell | May 10, 2017 |
The idea behind Marcia Williams' Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare is an admirable one. Williams takes seven plays, including As You Like It, Richard III, Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night, King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, and Much Ado About Nothing, and morphs them into a short, succinct picture-book. However, the magic of the individual plays gets lost in the shuffle. At forty pages, the book isn't nearly long enough to properly showcase the individual glory of each story.

Given the brevity and bare bones of Bravo, Williams' intended audience must be quite young. In that case, the eye-catching illustrations work quite well. Told in panel form, the drawings are framed with spectators supposedly watching the play, an interesting side wrinkle for readers, though it might prove distracting for some.

Marcia Williams' Bravo, Mr. Williams Shakespeare is an interesting concept on the surface, but ultimately takes on more than it can handle. Perhaps if the play workload had been cut in half, the book could have been better rated. Unfortunately, that was not the case and this adaptation of Shakespeare won't be recommended in this space. ( )
  mdaniel54 | Jan 27, 2013 |
Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare! is an amazing book. It exposes children to classic literature (7 Shakespeare plays) through comic strip/graphic novel form. The actual dialogue in intermixed with illustrations that summarize the plot, as well as comments for audience members who are watching the plays (in order to help comprehension and dialogue). I can see many children who typically wouldn't read plays on their own, pick this up and devour it! Definitely a great book to have in the upper elementary, middle school classroom or home! ( )
  wrightk | Jul 17, 2010 |
All teachers of classic Shakespearean literature are urged to use this book as a resource. Its graphic, comic-strip format makes Elizabethan drama more comprehensible and approachable for its readers. Students will gain a better understanding of the time period and the storylines from the reader-friendly synopses and sidebars. This book maintains the integrity of William Shakespeare’s renowned plays by including original selections and further extends their significance through the colorful illustrations that correspond to each one. ( )
  carlabortiz | May 7, 2008 |
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Presents the stories of seven Shakespeare plays by including actual dialogue in the illustrations, summarizing the plots in picture captions, and showing the comments and actions of audience members on the sides and bottom of the pages.

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