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This is an OCR edition with typos.
In the introduction, the author explains how she tried to read Shakespeare's plays to her children. When they were unable to understand the stories and appeared to be baffled by the language, she simplified the tales for them. Simplifying and condensing the plays of Shakespeare for youngsters would seem a daunting task, but the author has done an admirable job. She has rewritten eleven of the plays into stories of ten pages or less, retaining very few passages from the original works. (As an aside, it is interesting to note that in these shortened versions of stories like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, the reader is struck by the death count, which mounts more quickly than it might in a modern-day action film.) For the parent or teacher wishing to introduce young people to the beauty and depth of Shakespeare's work, an excellent accompaniment to this book would be the illustrated, A Treasury of Shakespeare's Verse containing passages selected by Gina Pollinger, thereby providing an appreciation for the beauty of the language along with an understanding of the stories themselves. 2000, Academy Chicago Publishers, $12.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford