Monday, June 29, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: Tales from Shakespeare- Henry V

Tales from Shakespeare: Henry V (Retold in modern-day English) by Timothy Knapman, May 1, 2015. 48 pages. Published by QEB Publishing: Source: publisher.
Henry, newly crowned King of England, has decided he deserves to be king of France too... so war against France begins. What fate awaits Henry V and his people? Follow Henry's difficult journey in this dramatic tale of battle, triumph and loss. Combining modern-day English with stunning illustrations, QEB's Tales from Shakespeare bring the Bard's popular plays to life. Lively and easy-to-read, they are sure to capture your imagination!
First Sentence:
Prince Hal had always been a worry to his father-and to the rest of England.

First off, this was my first taste of Shakespeare's Henry V. So, while I really enjoyed reading it in modern-day English, I cannot tell you how it compared to the original. That being said, I still really enjoyed it because it was, well, so easy to follow because...well, I just did!!

Going in, I had no idea what Henry V was about since it is one of the plays by Shakespeare that I have, you guessed it, not read.  For me, Shakespeare and plays can be, well, hit and miss in the enjoyment area. Even so, I found myself enjoying reading a modern-day English retelling of one of his plays because it was such a light read and just a great way to introduce young, reluctant readers to a classic play without having the language go over their head.

I'm not sure if Henry V is supposed to be as funny as I found it...but I sure spent most of the book snickering. Of course, I've been known to find the weirdest things funny in a book.

Story-wise, I liked Henry V because it was interesting to watch Henry go from party-boy to shouldering the responsibilities of being King. Until he decided he needed to take over France. Goodness, you would think ruling one country would be enough of a hassle. It was really nice to see that included within the retelling were snippets of Shakespeare's original writing of the play. I thought it was great that young readers could read it in modern English and yet still see certain scenes the way they were originally written. Definitely a great way to capture their curiosity for one day reading the original.

As you've probably guesses, I really enjoy books that have good art within them. So, consider me pleasantly surprised when I discovered that Henry V was illustrated. I loved how well the illustrations suited the book and helped to bring the visual aspect of the book out.

Final Verdict: Henry V- I am pleasantly surprised to say that reading Shakespeare retold in modern-day English is not bad. I actually really enjoyed it.

Henry V earns

this book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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