"A stunning celebration of ten of Shakespeare's best loved plays as stories by master storyteller Morpurgo."
Inspired by a rite-of-passage book and his own first discovery of the Bard in Tales of Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb when he was six or seven, Morpurgo delivers his own version of a selection of Shakespeare's plays in story format.
And oh what a joy it is. Giving the gift of Shakespeare to the young, ensuring they don't turn away from it before they come to engage with it, enjoy it, love it, this is a real treat. Offering every child the early experience of the tales of Shakespeare, this book deserves to be on every bookshelf throughout the land.
With an introduction by Benedict Cumberbatch we are reminded of the amount of retellings of Shakespeare - films, books, plays galore, but none quite like this. Telling the stories in a fresh and modern way, in the language of today, we are reminded of what an incredible storyteller Morpurgo is. Bringing the iconic originals up to date for a brand new audience of young readers, blending some of Shakespeare's original words with his own memories of the classic stories, this book is a triumph.
Of writing this collection, Morpurgo shares:
“Tell a cracking story, tell it well, and children will love to listen. So, I thought, tell the tales of Shakespeare your way, with pace and with passion. Mean the stories as you tell them, so that children can see the truth in them, the fun and the excitement, identify with the characters, empathise with them.
Then, and only then, introduce them to the text and begin to discover the beauty of the language, the poetry, the genius of our great bard. Every child should have the opportunity to come to love the plays of Shakespeare. It's a birthright and a joy. These tales might help that happen. Believe so, hope so.”
And amen to that.
This collection is also available to listen to in audio format, narrated and performed by some of the fantastic actors of the Royal Shakespeare Company.