William Shakespeare Scenes from the Life of the World's Greatest Writer by Mick Manning

William Shakespeare Scenes from the Life of the World's Greatest Writer

Written by Mick Manning
Illustrated by Brita Granstrom

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the English Picture Book Award 2016 Mick Manning and Brita Granström have developed a picture book approach to non-fiction that brings their subjects to vivid life. Beautifully illustrated throughout in coloured pencil and watercolour and with pen and ink for the hand lettering, this is beautiful to look at and packed with information. There is lots on Shakespeare’s childhood – stories of the famous as children always catch the imagination of young readers – and the book provides a very clear impression of Tudor life. It explains the ‘lost years’, when no-one really knows what Shakespeare was up to, and cleverly puts the plays in the context of Shakespeare’s life and times. There are retellings in a sort of comic-strip of some of the most important plays – Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet – while comic-strip style speech bubbles throughout let readers hear Shakespeare’s words and world. Children can read this book in so many different ways, and Simon Callow, quoted on the cover, is right when he says this is a perfect introduction to the real Shakespeare. ~ Andrea Reece

Endorsed by Simon Callow, Shakespearean actor and biographer: "This witty and vivid book is a perfect introduction to the real Shakespeare: the man in his time and his world, but at the same time perfectly recognisable. I can't think of a book more likely than this enchantingly illustrated tome to connect young people to the greatest, most exciting, most human, most surprising writer of them all. A great achievement."


William Shakespeare Scenes from the Life of the World's Greatest Writer by Mick Manning

The life of William Shakespeare is vividly depicted, from his birth in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, childhood and schooldays, through apprenticeship at his father's glove-making shop, his marriage to Anne Hathaway, and then the move to London - where Will hones his skills as an actor-playwright for The Lord Chamberlain's Men. When the newly-built Globe Theatre opens in 1599, Will Shakespeare is a key member of the company, and many of Shakespeare's most famous plays are first performed here. By his death in 1616, William Shakespeare is acknowledged as the master playwright of his age - and ever since as one of the greatest writers of all time.

With lively graphic-novel descriptions of many of Shakespeare's most famous plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and The Tempest, and drawing on the latest biographical research, this is the perfect introduction for children to the life and works of William Shakespeare.

Published in association with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, a great source of further reading.

Emma Mulveagh, Books Manager at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, commented: “We’re delighted to have worked with Mick and Brita on this unique project and are thrilled with the finished book. Shakespeare’s life has been told for children many times before but not as fully or affectionately as this. We love the attention to detail, especially in the depiction of Shakespeare’s family homes as well as its humour and charm, and hope young people will enjoy this enchanting book as much as we do.”


'These books by Brita and Mick are better than any other way I can think of to learn about people. They may be famous, but not so much that we can't learn more about them.' Bookwitch

'A perfect introduction to the real Shakespeare' - Simon Callow

'Selected for the Children's Preview Drawing on the latest biographical research, this offers a really excellent introduction from primary school-aged children... life in 16th Century England is vividly depicted via comic strips.' -- Fiona Noble The Bookseller

"an inspirational duo.” Parents in Touch

About the Author

Mick Manning

Mick Manning grew up in Haworth, West Yorkshire and studied Illustration at the Royal College of Art in London. He has written and illustrated over 60 books, mostly with his partner Brita Granstrom. Their distinctive books have won many awards. Their first book, The World is Full of Babies, won the Smarties Silver Prize in 1996. Mick and Brita live in the Scottish Borders and have 4 sons. Their other books with Frances Lincoln include the critically acclaimed Fly on the Wall series: Roman Fort, Pharaoh's Egypt, Viking Longship, Greek Hero, Tail-End Charlie and What Mr Darwin Saw. Both Roman Fort and Viking Longship were shortlisted for the English Association 4-11 Awards and Greek Hero won in 2008. Snap! is the follow-up to Yuck! which was a regional winner of the Highland Book Awards 2006. Recently Mick and Brita donated the entire body of work created for their book Fly on the Wall: Greek Hero to Seven Stories, the centre for children's books.

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Book Info


48 pages
Interest Age: From 8


Mick Manning
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Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

Publication date

3rd March 2016




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