Shakespeare changed the way we speak. But do we know the origin of the phrases that have become household words?
It was with great excitement that I opened Jane Sutcliffe's book Will's Words about the phrases and sayings inherited from William Shakespeare. It is beautifully illustrated by John Shelley.
As I was reading the book written for Third and Fourth Grades I was wishing I could have read it to my son when he was that age. He would have loved the detailed illustrations showing London teeming with houses and people, the views of the Thames and London Bridge with boats of all sizes carrying people across the river, the aerial views of the city and The Globe, the crowds with their ruffed neckwear and doublets. There is a great cutaway of the Globe showing all the actors and stage hands putting on A Midsummer's Night's Dream, using trap doors and dangling a fairy over the stage.
And while my son studied the detailed illustrations I would have taught him about the importance of Shakespeare, an introduction to the Bard.
The book opens in 1606, a time when people sought an escape from their daily lives and the theaters offered plays six days a week. Except during an outbreak of the plague when they were shut down. We read about the theater goers, what the experience was like, and about the actors and the stories they told. We learn that Will wrote comedies that made the audience laugh themselves into stitches and tragedies about foul play that made their hair stand on end.
It ends with the publication of the 1616 first Folio, without which Shakespeare's words would have been lost.
Included is an author's note of how she came to write the book, a bibliography and a time line of Shakespeare's life.
The long and the short of it is that you'll get your money's worth out of this book!
NOTE: BOLD print words are included in the book Will's Words.
I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
Will's Words How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk
Publication Date: March 22, 2016