Book Review: Comic Book Shakespeare – The Tempest

Title: Comic Book Shakespeare – The Tempest

Written by: William Shakespeare; Simon Greaves (trans)

Illustrated by: Simon Greaves

Published by: The Shakespeare Comic Book Company

Comic Book Shakespeare – The Tempest

I was greatly impressed by this comic book version of The Tempest and believe this series of books would be an excellent introduction to Shakespeare. Part of a series of books these Shakespeare comic books include edited original text with a modern English translation. They are vividly illustrated throughout to bring the play to life. Each of the comic books is supported by a teacher book containing over 50 pupil worksheets which meet the requirements of the National Literacy Strategy for KS2 and KS3.

The Shakespeare comic book version of The Tempest is an edited version of the Shakespearean play, retaining approximately 50% of his original text. The comic book dual text approach allows younger students to explore Shakespeare whilst providing key quotations, essential plot lines and clarity of understanding for the older pupil. The pictures help to bring the drama to life and provide visual clues for the reader to the characters and their emotional state.

I would not recommend they replace the original version all together but, they would be ideal to encourage even the most reluctant reader to take an interest in the classics. The structure of the book made it very easy to read and follow the plot. The clever line drawings added essential information on the characters feelings and attitudes. Even being able to see the way the characters are dressed provides essential information for the pupils to visualise the cultural and historical setting of the play. The books would also be brilliant for stimulating the children’s own role play and Shakespearean productions.

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