Reviews for A midsummer night's dream

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 5 Up-Shakespeare's classic play about fairies, humans, and mismatched lovers is adapted into three different versions to accommodate different reading levels. "Original Text" uses Shakespeare's original iambic pentameter. "Plain Text" adapts the language into modern-day English. And "Quick Text" simplifies the language even further, suitable for middle-grade students' reading level. Each version contains a short biography of Shakespeare, a history of the play, information about the Globe Theatre, and an overview of the graphic novel's creation. The colorful and eye-catching illustrations bring this classic play to life for young readers. These different versions will be extremely valuable for educators working with students of different reading and interest levels.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

This comic-book-style adaptation capably conveys plot points but fails to capture the original play's thematic depth or humor. Awkwardly placed rectangular text boxes and distracting footnotes crowd the pages and create separation between illustrations and words. Marginally useful historical context is appended to the story. Timeline. Ind. (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 6 Up-There is no shortage of graphic-novel adaptations of Shakespeare for teens. Often the process of rendering the language accessible will strip the text of its beauty, the result becoming noticeably awkward. This version of Romeo & Juliet has suffered such a fate, with numerous narration boxes standing in for expository dialogue and lines like "I'll try to like him, Mother, and hope in getting to know him that he will inspire my love." A teen-friendly, expressive illustration style makes this book easier to look at than to read. With its broad comedy and frenetic activity, Midsummer Night's Dream fares better. The drawing style is manga-inspired: characters have big eyes and hair, exaggerated expressions, and a lot of teeth. Color palettes and backgrounds are harmonious, with appropriate color distinctions between the magical forest scenes and Theseus's palace. Occasional editing gaffes undermine the effort, but all in all, these are serviceable graphic-novel adaptations.-Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 10 Up-William Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed, and today's students and readers of them are in for an enjoyable listening experience with this unabridged and fully dramatized version of one of his most popular romantic comedies. With its diversified combination of plot materials including classical Greek mythology, fairy lore, love story and the amateur Elizabethan play within this play, A Midsummer Night's Dream can be a difficult play to follow and understand. However, many of he cast members here are accomplished Shakespearean actors, and they skillfully deliver the bard's poetic and masterful language. Locating specific scenes and dialogue from the play is simple with these CDs, as they are identified in an accompanying booklet by the numbered tracks. Listeners will be delighted to easily follow the various enchanted lovers, comic actors, ad fairy characters through the moral and mystical worlds of the play. Beginning and concluding this production and providing musical interludes between scenes is the Scholars Baroque Ensemble, performing historical music from Purcell's "The Fairy Queen." An excellent audio addition to Shakespeare collections.-Marilyn Higgins, Metuchen High School, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Holland's introduction--consisting of well-researched and engagingly written essays on such topics as dreams, fairies, Theseus and Hippolyta, and shapes--could almost stand alone as a worthy monograph. The carefully and imaginatively edited play, however, is truly the thing. Following no earlier editor slavishly, generally preferring Folio over Quarto (though using both judiciously), and giving more attention to MSND's performance history (and to performance possibilities) than did his predecessors, Holland (Univ. of Cambridge) has produced a virtual variorum. Though packed with invaluable textual, editorial, and critical information, the slim volume presents the play itself in a clear and uncluttered text: most annotations are no more than half a page. A helpful appendix sets forth the different states of the opening of act 5 in a convincing reconstruction of Shakespeare's revisions. The index usefully includes words glossed in the commentary and productions of the play referred to throughout; authors, however, are too selectively listed. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers in literature and theater; theater professionals. J. H. Sims; University of Southern Mississippi


Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

This is the premiere volume in what promises to be the valuable new "Shakespeare in Production" series, which is devoted to chronicling salient details of performance interpretation gleaned from the stage history of individual plays (in a format instigated by Junction Books' ill-fated "Plays in Performance" venture). Griffiths opens with a cogent introductory overview examining how different ages have brought this comedy of romance and fantasy to life on English stages, from the 1590s to the 1990s. Like recent critical histories of discrete Shakespearean works already in print (e.g., the volumes in Manchester University Press's "Shakespeare in Performance" series or the Garland Reference Library of the Humanities Shakespeare Criticism sequence), Griffiths's study addresses current scholarly fascination with theatrical productions as reflections of shifting patterns in complex cultural values. The distinguishing feature of this new series is inclusion of the full text of the play--richly footnoted with concise glosses detailing how various productions staged particular moments, projected interpretive emphasis, cut or transposed lines, or departed from the script by adding bits of action. Although Griffiths's referents are limited to British stagings, the variora of performative choices recorded in his lucid annotation provide a useful resource for teachers and students of the play. Highly recommended for all academic collections. P. D. Nelsen Marlboro College


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Four of Shakespeare?s best-known plays are retold as modest short stories, with plot and characterizations boiled down to the basics. Shakespeare?s language--the most important component of the work--is lost, but those seeking accessible summaries of these great works may find the books helpful. The volumes are illustrated in a combination of black-and-white and color art that matches the tone of each story. [Review covers these Shakespeare Collection titles: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest.] (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 3-6-These prose adaptations attempt to make the Bard's work accessible to a young audience. They are serviceable, if uninspired, renditions that convey the overall plotlines. While the major pieces of each story are all here, this Cliff's Notes approach leads one to realize how flat the plays are when the poetry is missing. For instance, when the witches meet Macbeth, the simple yet powerful greeting of "Hail, Thane," is replaced with the prosaic "Good evening, Lord of Glamis." In so doing, the power and true spirit of the text are lost, and, with them, the opportunity to introduce young readers to a more interesting level of speech. The characters are all here, but because of the brevity and formulaic nature of the writing, there is little opportunity for their development; consequently some figures are merely introduced with no background information, and the relationships between the personages are unclear. The watercolor illustrations, a balance of black and white and color, vary from small insets to full-page paintings, appropriately sporting cartoon figures for Midsummer and a more realistic style for Hamlet. At times there is little distinction between some of the figures, but the drawings are clear and elucidate the plots. Geared to a younger and less-sophisticated audience than either Marchette Chute's Stories from Shakespeare (World, 1956; o.p.) or Charles and Mary Lamb's classic Tales from Shakespeare (Puffin, 1995), these titles-particularly Midsummer-can serve as basic introductions to the playwright's work. However, libraries would be wiser to purchase individual titles, such as Bruce Coville's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (Dial, 1999), a modern-day retelling that still retains the flavor of Shakespeare's poetic genius.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The proliferation of graphic-novel Shakespeare adaptations continues. Cardy and Nicholson's artwork gives the characters a nicely expressive range; the color palette is bold, luminescent, and mood evoking; and the well-designed panel flow presents an engaging version of the classic comedy. The volume is clearly intended for classroom use, and it is one of three versions: original text (presenting the play in its entirety), plain text (which uses contemporary language), and quick text (a heavily abridged adaptation). The back matter discusses how to convert a play into comics format, offers a short biography of Shakespeare, and touches on the Globe Theatre.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2010 Booklist

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