William Shakespeare 400 Anniversary William Shakespeare 400 Anniversary

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. To mark the 400 Anniversary of his death we have selected a number of books to help your children discover more about the life and works of the greatest playwright of all time.

See Inside the World of Shakespeare
Rob Lloyd Jones
An illustrious and detailed look into the inventive and wonderful world of William Shakespeare. With lots of flaps, children can discover more about the world's most famous playwright and poet within this colourful book. Explore Shakespeare's London, the famous Globe... Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Board book | Released 01/07/2016
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To Wee or Not to Wee
Pamela Butchart
Of the many tributes to Shakespeare in this anniversary year, To Wee or Not to Wee must be the zaniest. It features retellings of four favourite Shakespeare plays with a definite focus on the action and character motivation. The twist... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/04/2016
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Shakespeare Sticker Book
Rob Lloyd Jones
This is a great, fun way to introduce William Shakespeare to younger children. With interesting bite-sized pieces of information on a variety of aspects of Shakespeare's life including the Globe Theatre and what London was like during the Elizabethean age,... Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/04/2016
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World of Shakespeare Picture Book
Rosie Dickins
An illustrated guide to the life and times of William Shakespeare. Readers can discover his famous plays, see where he lived and worked and find out why he is one of the world's greatest writers. With index and contents pages... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/12/2015
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Tales from Shakespeare
Charles Lamb, Mary Lamb, Dame Judi Dench
Charles and Mary Lamb's retellings of twenty of Shakespeare's tales are rich with humour and telling imagery; and the authors reflect much of Shakespeare's insight into the human condition. The language they use is striking and memorable, and there are... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/03/2016
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What's So Special About Shakespeare?
Michael Rosen
Shakespeare's writing was extraordinary four hundred years ago, and it's still extraordinary today says Michael Rosen in this splendid and inspiring introduction to the bard. Rosen demonstrates to young people just why Shakespeare is still acted, read and quoted today... Featured in: 9+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/03/2016
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Tales from Shakespeare
Marcia Williams
Marcia Williams's charming retellings of Shakespeare's best-loved plays are made even more accessible and entertaining by her own distinctive and detailed illustrations. She features fourteen of the plays, a mix of comedy, tragedy and history, telling them with wit and... Featured in: 7+ readers | 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/10/2015
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William Shakespeare Scenes from the Life of the World's Greatest Writer
Mick Manning
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... Featured in: 9+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/03/2016
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The National Archives: Shakespeare Unclassified
Nick Hunter
As the nation prepares to celebrate Shakespeare, 400 years on from his death, this book looks at the man behind the plays using original documents and historical artefacts. Items reproduced include the entry in the parish register that records Shakespeare's... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 28/01/2016
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The What on Earth? Wallbook Timeline of Shakespeare
Christopher Lloyd, Dr. Nick Walton, Patrick Skipworth
2016 is another big year for Shakespeare and The Wallbook Timeline of Shakespeare will give readers (of all ages) special insight into all his 38 plays, as well as into the man and his time. A colourful 2 metre long... Featured in: 11+ readers | 13+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 20/10/2015
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A Smidgen of Shakespeare Brush Up on the Bard with Quotations, Trivia and Frolics
Geoff Spiteri
I was once lucky enough to see the late – and great actor Michael Bryant play Iago,his command of the text such that the whole play came alight - a reminder of how, without such brilliance, Shakespeare can be frustrating... Featured in: YA readers | 13+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 10/03/2016
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Stories from Shakespeare
Anna Claybourne
This a lovely hardback with ten of Shakespeare's more well known plays retold especially for younger children to enjoy. Each page is illustrated in Usborne's trademark style, with Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Midsummer Night's Dream all brought to life... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/10/2015
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Shakespeare
Jane Bingham
2016 will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Celebrate the life and times of the world's most famous playwright with this immersive photographic book. Read about the different types of play Shakespeare wrote and how he... Featured in: 9+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 24/09/2015
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The Boy and the Globe
Tony Bradman
Young readers wondering what's so special about Shakespeare as celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of his death get underway would do well to read Tony Bradman's cheerful story of life at the Globe circa 1611. The cast of characters... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 15/03/2016
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Where's Will: Find Shakespeare Hidden in His Plays
Anna Claybourne
With Shakespeare in the spotlight, this book finds an unusual and effective way to spark children's interest in his plays. It retells ten of the most popular in cartoon strip, each accompanied by a brief synopsis of the action. A... Featured in: 9+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/09/2015
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The Orchard Book of Classic Shakespeare Stories
Andrew Matthews
A beautiful new edition, reissued and reformatted to celebrate 450 years since William Shakespeare's birth - an ideal first introduction to eight of his most-loved stories that will be enjoyed for generations to come. Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 20/03/2014
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Shakespeare: A Three Dimensional Expanding Pocket Guide
Nina Cosford
2014 marks the 450th Anniversary of William Shakespeare Beautifully packaged and full of detailed information this is a stunning fold out version of the life and plays of William Shakespeare. Opened out one way, the details of Shakespeare's life from... Featured in: 7+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 03/04/2014
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Shakespeare Collection Gift Set

Usborne have chosen five Shakespeare plays to abridge and colourfully illustrate which are perfect for 6+ readers. The collection includes Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth and A... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/12/2013
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Shakespeare
Rosie Dickins
Young Reading: Series Three. The life of Britain's most famous playwright told for children ready to tackle longer and more complex books. Titles in this 7th and final Level in the Usborne Reading Programme are for fully confident readers who... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 25/04/2008
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The Life and Times of William Shakespeare
Ari Berk
A wonderfully compelling story of Elizabethan London through the eyes of Shakespeare who will take you around the streets of London and introduce you to all sorts of areas of his life within a historical context. This beautifully produced book... Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/04/2010
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Willliam Shakespeare A 400 Year Legacy

We know little about the early life of William Shakespeare, but do know that at 18 he married Anne Hathaway and had three children, Susanna and then twins Hamnet and Judith. His son, Hamnet died in childhood.

By 1592 he had moved to London and was working as an actor and playwright, and part of an acting company which later became known as the King's Men. This company had interests in the Globe Theatre on the Southbank and the Blackfriars indoor theatre, and by 1594 Shakespeare's playwrighting began in earnest. He was a prolific writer, producing around two plays a year, he prospered and his reputation grew.

His early plays were mostly histories and comedies - Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry VI, The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III amongst others. By early 1600 he was writing some of his greatest tragedies such as Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life living in New Place in Stratford and died on 23 April 1616 at the age of 52. He was buried two days later in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford and is also commemorated in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.

Known as the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare is widely accepted to have been the greatest playwright of all time and his poems and plays are studied and performed all over the world.

To mark the anniversary there are numerous events including :

The Complete Walk with The Globe Theatre : A walk along the Thames celebrating scenes from Shakespeare's plays.

Shakespeare400 : A rich variety of exhibitions and talks on theatre, manuscripts, archaeology and artifacts from Shakespeare's world.

And performances across the capital and beyond at The Globe, Barbican and Royal Festival Hall - find out more here.


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