Burdett, Lois. Romeo and Juliet for Kids. Firefly Books, 1998. ISBN 1-55209-229-1. $19.95. 58 pp. -----. A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Kids. Firefly Books, 1997. ISBN 1-55209-124-4. $8.95. 58 pp. -----. Macbeth for Kids. Firefly Books, 1996. ISBN 0-88753-233-0. $14.15. 58 pp. -----. Twelfth Night for Kids. Firefly Books, 1994. ISBN 0-88753-233-0. 34 pp. A- 1-4 PB Reviewed by Tracy Twitchell Burdett has taken four of Shakespeare’s better known plays and made them more accessible to a younger audience. While remaining faithful to the story lines in every detail, she has rewritten the original texts in rhyming couplets. Her adaptations are well suited for reading or performing for children ages 6-10. While older children are certainly capable of handling the language originally employed by Shakespeare, younger children, who may feel intimidated by such, will have no difficulties with these texts. Burdett, a second grade teacher who has worked with children and Shakespeare for over twenty years, understands well that the opportunity to study Shakespeare can enrich the lives of young children. She has provided the means whereby such learning can take place. Although no specific staging instructions are included in the texts, Burdett does offer a variety of suggestions to parents and educators on cross-curricular and expansion activities. The plays could be staged with a minimum amount of effort. Sets could be accomplished with simple scenic elements, and costumes could be largely suggested and then embellished with a few specific personal props.
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