Longtime reader and contributor catkins sent me something wonderful that I’m only just now able to fully sit and appreciate.
The task of retelling Shakespeare’s stories for children has been undertaken many times, perhaps most famously Tales From Shakespeare
by Charles and Mary Lamb. Personally I never loved that one because I went straight for The Tempest and did not enjoy how they edited it.
Well, catkins clearly knows this about me because he sent me Alice Hoffman’s 1904 version!
But happy birthday to me, because there’s images I’ve never seen! A number of the characters get this sort of head shot, as I’ve included here for Prospero, which I think is a neat touch for a children’s book as you introduce the characters.
I actually own a version of The Tempest illustrated by children, where the images change on every page. That is, Caliban does not look the same on page 3 as he does on page 5, and so on. This made it impossible to read this book aloud to school children, I found out the hard way, as they kept saying, “Who is that? Wait, I thought caliban was green and slimy? That guy is red and fiery.”
I have not read this one all the way through yet, but I’m looking forward to it. As long time readers know, I’ve always thought of The Tempest as my own personal benchmark for Shakespeare, because it is the play I first introduced to my children. Looking forward to adding this one to the collection.