A Fun and Engaging Way to Introduce Shakespeare (Plus a GIVEAWAY)





Can you believe that it is already April? In March, we had celebrated National Reading Month and Dr. Seuss' birthday with plenty of fun early learning activities. This month we will be focusing on another popular figure in literature, actually a poet and playwright! Can you guess who?


William Shakespeare!



While Shakespeare's actual birth date is not one hundred percent certain, we do know that it was some time in April 1564 (the 23rd seems to be a notable date for his baptism). He had also passed away on April 23, 1616, which is an interesting coincidence. It's no surprise that April seems to be the popular month to celebrate his work. Did you know that there is even a National Talk Like Shakespeare Day (April 23rd)? Since we've been working on reading long vowel words in our phonics lessons, I guess it's the perfect time to also throw in "ye" and "thee."



 

We have also been learning small bits of information on the Bard's life and work thanks to our new book, Pop-Up Shakespeare. Prior to receiving this book, I hadn't really started to scratch the surface of anything Shakespeare related in our homeschool. The original plan was to wait until my son was a little older, given the mature themes of some of the plays. Now, with Pop-Up Shakespeare, I can teach bite-sized chunks of information about Shakespeare and all of his works in a way that's more age appropriate.

This book can be equally enjoyable for both children and adults, alike. The recommended age range for children is seven to ten years old. I find it to be a fun and entertaining way to introduce Shakespeare to children. Of course, it would also make a great gift or collector's item for teens and adults who are fans of Shakespeare. 


 
 

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO UNIQUE?

Well that's easy to answer! As the title indicates, this is an actual pop-up book that brings all of the Bard's works to life with three-dimensional pages and plenty of hidden tabs with fun facts! The first part of the book provides a look into the personal life of Shakespeare, from where he was born, to his final resting place. There are then four two-page spreads that introduce readers to each and every one of Shakespeare's plays, sonnets, and poems, all in a fun pop-up design. 


The works are divided by four themes:
  • Comedies
  • Histories
  • Romances
  • Tragedies







There is a treasure trove of information with the turn of each page. Large displays and lift-the-flap tabs help bring everything to life. Not only does the book offer a brief synopsis on every play, but there are all kinds of interesting facts and information spread throughout. These are sometimes written in a humorous, more lighthearted way than what you would normally expect from anything Shakespeare related. I really do like this approach, especially since the book was originally created for children; it offers a more appealing way to learn about Shakespeare's creative works. For instance, there are illustrations of little orange books spread throughout the pages. These books are titled "Long Story Short," and offer various quips and humorous notations pertaining to some of the plays and poems being discussed. 









ABOUT THE BOOK:
Read about William Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets, and poems as you never have before in an entertaining pop-up book collaboration between the internationally known comedy troupe the Reduced Shakespeare Company and best-selling illustrator Jennie Maizels. Featuring five interactive spreads filled with dramatic pop-ups, fun foldouts, hilarious summaries, and fascinating commentaries, this is the perfect introduction to one of the world’s greatest playwrights and his enduring works. Learn about all of Shakespeare's plays in one book!


ABOUT THE CREATORS:
The Reduced Shakespeare Company has created ten world-renowned stage shows, two television specials, and numerous radio pieces, all of which have been performed, seen, and heard the world over. The company’s itinerary has included countless tours of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, as well as performances in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Singapore, and Bermuda.

Jennie Maizels studied illustration at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in London. She is best known for her engaging nonfiction books for children, such as Pop-up New York, Pop-up London, and The Terrific Times Tables Book. Jennie Maizels lives in England.






The illustrations make it all the more fun! There are so many fine details on each page, I personally recommend taking your time to glance over each one, so you don't miss anything.



 




Pop-Up Shakespeare invites young readers to fully immerse themselves in everything related to Shakespeare. It's amazing how the creators were able to include so much information into one book–and they were able do so in a way that's concise and organized. From his personal life, to the many works that he had created during his time, there is no shortage of informative tidbits about Shakespeare. Opening each hidden flap was an invitation to learn something new, and the information that is included is written in such an engaging way, you won't look at Shakespeare the same way, again!
 



This book is such a treat to read and is a really clever way to introduce kids (and even adults) to the many works of Shakespeare! To celebrate the Bard's birthday, I'm offering a giveaway to readers! TWO WINNERS will be picked to receive a copy of Pop-Up Shakespeare! (This giveaway is open to United States/Canada residents. No PO Boxes, please).