Check Thursday's post to read my entry, "The Ballad of Mary Fields."
Now on to today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick
|Will's Words, by Jane Sutcliffe and John Shelley|
How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk
Written by Jane Sutcliffe
Illustrated by John Shelley
Ages 7-10, 750L
40pp, 3400 words
Non-fiction, Vocabulary/Writing, Theater/Arts, History/Biography
In 1606 London was a bustling, jostling, clanging, singing, stinking, head-chopping, pickpocketing wonder of a city. You would probably need a break from a city like that.
That's why London was also a play-going city. There was a play going on every day of the week except Sunday. Sometimes there were two or three.
When it came to plays, people in London thought you couldn't have too much of a good thing.
What it Means:
More of something good may be bad. (If you've ever eaten a whole bag of gummy worms at once, you already know what this means.)
Where it Comes From:
As You Like It, Act 4, scene 1
A woman teases her boyfriend that if one boyfriend is good, twenty must be even better. Or is that too much of a good thing?
In her opening author's note, Jane Sutcliffe apologizes to the reader for having failed as an author. She set out to write a book about the Globe Theatre, but she ended up using so many of William Shakespeare's own words that she decided to write a book about the Bard instead. This book incorporates theater terms, historical details, and biographical information, but it's mostly about how Shakespeare's work influenced people's thoughts and language. On the left-hand pages, the text tells how the theater fit into daily life. (using many of Will's words, of course, printed in bold.) on the facing pages, the author defines Will's words or phrases, often giving examples, as well as detailing which play the words were used in. The back matter includes another author's note, a timeline of Shakespeare's life and extensive bibliography.
What I Love:
Sutcliffe subtlety demonstrates how a living language evolves and how popular media stimulates that change. The text's jaunty rhythm is infused with humor. She introduces the origins of the "wild-goose chase", explains what it means to get your "money's worth", and how "too much of a good thing" (like gummy worms) does not lead to our "heart's content." John Shelley's illustrations pair lively ink line with jewel tone watercolor reminiscent of stained glass. His accurately detailed drawings switch point of view, first high above the city, then down in the Pit with the commoners, from intricate backstage dressing rooms to scenes of bustling London, looking like a page from Where's Waldo. The author shows how a heavy subject, handled lightly, can connect with modern readers. While she planned to write the history of one place and time, she instead accomplishes the remarkable task of making kids notice and care about words.
And that's the short and the long of it.
|I found instructions for a paper ruff from the Dayton Art Institute|
2. For older students, the Folger Education Blog has complied Teaching Shakespeare, a support for teachers and students which helps to build deep reading skills and
3. For younger students, Simply Convivial has put together a 5-Step Plan to teach Shakespeare in an age-appropriate way.
4. Learn more about William Shakespeare on Biography, the National Endowment for the Arts site, or on Linda Alchin's William Shakespeare.
5. Teachers can sign up for Shakespeare Week, March 20-26, 2017, sponsored by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
6. Want to party like the Elizabethans? Throw an historic feast with tips and recipes from Teachers First.
7. Learn practically everything about the Elizabethan Era here.
8. Learn about the Globe Theatre, make your own model from paper toys, or visit the recreation (you lucky dog!)
9. The Guardian and Shakespeare Standard have collected lists of kids' books about Shakespeare's plays, to which I would add the Shakespeare Stealer series by Gary Blackwood and the World of Shakespeare, by Usborne Books.
10. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.
|Reviewed by Julie|
|Reviewed by Leslie|
More books about wordplay
|Reviewed by Erik|
|Reviewed by Leslie|
More Elizabethan history I've reviewed
|The Pirate Meets the Queen, by Matt Faulkner|
|London Bridge is Falling Down, by Peter Spier|
More inventive biographies
|Reviewed by Jarm|
|Reviewed by Vivian|
Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, February 10, 2017 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.