Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Pop-Up Shakespeare: Every Play and Poem in Pop-Up 3-D by The Reduced Shakespeare Co., Austin Tichenor, and Reed Martin, illustrated by Jennie Maizels

Today is Shakespeare Day in the UK and National Speak Like Shakespeare Day in the US. Needless to say, the Bard has been on my mind, but mostly because I have been intensely reading and exploring Pop-Up Shakespeare for the last two weeks. But Shakespeare has always been a favorite writer of mine...so

when my Kiddo was young, I took her on a variety of trips to Britain and Europe. Each one was loosely themed, e.g. the cathedrals and castles trip and the Harry Potter trip, but my personal favorite was the authors and playwrights trip. That trip, taken in 2002 when Allison was 13, involved lots of Shakespeare - visits to Stratford-upon-Avon to see Shakespeare's birthplace, Holy Trinity Church where he was baptized and is buried, and of course, a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Back in London, there were two plays to see at the Globe Theatre, including a all-male performance of Twelfth Night with Mark Rylance. I loved it all so much, so imagine my disappointment when Allison told me she really wasn't too crazy about Shakespeare.

Fast forward to 2019. Allison came home for a 10 day visit from China, where's she is teaching. Imagine my joy when she told me she would like to see King Lear with Glenda Jackson, now playing on Broadway. Apparently she has developed a true appreciation for Shakespeare over the years.

All of which brings me to Pop-Up Shakespeare: Every Play and Poem in Pop-Up 3-D. But wait, every play and poem in a mere 10 pages? Shakespeare was such a prolific writer, how is even this possible? It is and it's all done with clever paper engineering, flaps, and pop-ups and it's all amusingly illustrated.

The book begins with a two-page spread that introduces Shakespeare with relevant facts about his life and his work. This is followed by four two-page spreads, one for the comedies, one for the histories, one for the romances, and finally, one for the tragedies. Each page has an amazing amount of information, including the flaps, some of which are more than on page (unusual for lift-the-flaps). The pop-ups give a short synopsis of of four plays, complete with their own flaps, and a Long Story Short of the basic theme:

In fact, there is so much to be discovered on each and every page of this impressive pop-up introduction to Shakespeare and his plays, that perhaps I should let the illustrator Jennie Maizels take you on a quick (literally) tour of just what can be found:

So, when I showed this book to my Kiddo, her first response was how she wished she had had it when she was younger and how she would like it for teaching her literature class in China.

Shakespeare isn't always the most accessible of writers for young readers, but this is a kid-friendly introduction to his work, and I think many them will find that, after reading the recaps and flipping the flaps, what Shakespeare had to say back in Elizabethan times will still resonated in today's world. 

Have a little fun while reading Pop-Up Shakespeare with a fun Shakespeare Mask that you can print out and wear.

This book is recommended for readers 8+
This book was sent to me by the publisher, Candlewick Press

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