Marcia Williams' distinctive style developed through the illustrated letters she sent from boarding school to her parents overseas. It was motherhood, though, and a period spent later as a nursery school teacher that inspired her to produce books for children. She is now the author/illustrator of several popular picture books, including the retellings The Amazing Story of Noah's Ark; Jonah and the Whale; Joseph and His Magnificent Coat of Many Colours; Greek Myths; Don Quixote; Sinbad the Sailor; The Adventures of Robin Hood; King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and The Iliad and the Odyssey, as well as her own texts When I Was Little, No Worries and of course, Mr. William Shakespeare's Plays.
Gr 3-6-In this appealing follow-up to Tales from Shakespeare (Candlewick, 1998), Williams presents entertaining and accessible retellings of seven more of the Bard's works. Included here are four comedies (As You Like It, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Much Ado About Nothing) and three tragedies (Antony and Cleopatra, Richard III, and King Lear). Each plot is summarized in four to six pages. Comic-book styled cartoon panels, done in pen and watercolor, move the action along. As the actors in the illustrations speak their lines, captions below explain the story in plain English. Meanwhile, stagehands and audience members shown in the border of each spread offer insights and comic relief. "They're mummies, you dummies!" explains a member of the crowd, as Antony and Cleopatra are buried together in a tomb. "Cantankerous harpies!" opines a King Lear attendee, of Cordelia's sisters. The figures in the artwork are not overly attractive. Many of the men are skinny, balding, and sniveling. Heroines are stout and homely, but their strengths still shine through. In this refreshing approach, all looks are equal and the characters can be judged by their deeds and personalities. Shakespeare is a challenge for most folks and this book provides an approachable introduction to his wordy magic. Libraries that own the first volume will definitely want to pair it up with this new one.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"Marcia Williams performs a brilliant encore...clear explanations, witty asides and dramatic devices... This is the perfect present for anyone who has ever been baffled by the Bard." Junior Education "Detailed artwork, terrific design, great stories - what more could a reluctant reader want?" The Daily Telegraph on Mr. William Shakespeare's Plays