Reviews for William Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
A graceful retelling reveals how Oberon, the Fairy King, and his servant Puck use a love charm to make Titania, the Fairy Queen, part with a mortal child and alter the romantic relationships of two young Athenian couples. Watercolors depict the dreamy world of the enchanted wood as both delicate and earthy and help to make the rich, humorous story accessible to a younger audience. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1996 October
Gr 2 Up Surely Nolan has created the most appealing Puck since Mickey Rooney. The wise hobgoblin piping on the cover and laughing on the title page is an irresistible lure into the story. Throughout, the artist's muted watercolors enrich the retelling. The cast of characters (except for Oberon's and Titania's elf-sized bands) look to be straight out of a high-school drama club production. Bottom is definitely the football captain who got roped into doing the play. The effect is delightfully fresh and youthful. The lush settings are perfect, from the blue Mediterranean and marble steps of Athens to the ancient magic of an enchanted forest full of huge gnarled trees with delicate sprites nestled among the vines and roots. Coville's aim, as in his version of William Shakepeare's The Tempest (Doubleday, 1994), is to tell the story in an uncomplicated manner and he does it quite smoothly, integrating Shakespeare's words into the simplified retelling, which is never so modern that the original rhythms are lost. The focus is on the two pairs of young lovers. The foolish antics of Bottom and the rustics, wonderfully slapstick and arguably the most readily accessible to young audiences of any of Shakespeare's clowning, are introduced but not elaborated upon. A Midsummer Night's Dream has been retold well in collections, but this individual treatment, verbally and visually true to the spirit of the play, will reach a new audience while delighting the old. Sally Margolis, formerly at Deerfield Public Library, IL Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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