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Confession: I've never been a big fan of Shakespeare. Hopefully I won't get my English degree revoked for saying that, but I didn't really encounter him much until college, and reading numerous lines of 400-year-old dialog full of words I didn't recognize just didn't excite me much. Of course, I still respect very much his contributions to the English language, but I suppose my interest in Shakespeare has been more historical than literary.

So I suppose the collection in Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare is perfect for people like me, or people who've never read Shakespeare at all, because it is basically his "greatest hits." (I know it says "for kids," but I imagine most readers will be teenagers or adults.)

There are some short snippets, some longer monologues, and some sonnets, but many recognizable pieces and lines can be found here -- from Hamlet's famous "To be or not to be," to Romeo and Juliet on the balcony, the three witches with their "Double, double toil and trouble," and "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Even aside from the major pieces, I was reminded of just how many phrases from Shakespeare are still around today, such as "mortal coil," "sound and fury," "the game is afoot," etc.

Each piece includes a list of its more unusual words/phrases after it, with definitions, which is very helpful. For those who would like more Shakespeare in their home but don't want to read entire plays, this is a great addition, and the illustrations are very nice too.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Format: Kindle
Author: William Shakespeare, Marguerite Tassi
Illustrator: Merce Lopez
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

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