William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English poet and dramatist of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean period, is the most widely known author in all of English literature and often considered the greatest. He was an active member of a theater company for at least twenty years, during which time he wrote many great plays. Plays were not prized as literature at the time, and Shakespeare was not widely read until the middle of the eighteenth century, when a great upsurge of interest in his works began that continues today. Bill Nighy is an award-winning British character actor who has appeared on stage and television as well as in film. His performance in the hit film Love Actually earned him a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor. His other credits include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Shaun of the Dead, The Constant Gardener, Underworld, Valkyrie, and many more.
Gr 5-7-These comic adaptations of literary classics seek "to entertain and educate young minds" with literature not generally read by today's young people. They are extensively abridged and retold in contemporary language. Each title includes a biographical sketch of the author and introduces approximately five main characters with illustrations. Back matter includes extension activities and historical information. Rendered in a pastel palette, Don Quixote offers more action and dialogue than the other titles and retains some of Cervantes's original humor. The art includes good use of foreshortening and point of view. Angled panels reinforce the windmill duel. King Solomon's Mines uses a vibrant color palette. Images often seem redundant-merely illustrating the text-rather than adding new insights. Many of the more violent scenarios are not depicted. For example, readers never see the origin of the knife wound shown later in the story. Kidnapped presents panels heavily outlined in black that appear stiff and formal, often having little connection to the sequential action of the story. The book lacks character animation, story pacing, and depiction of action. Adaptations of The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet rely on abbreviated retellings of the basic plots, eliminating any of the original poetic language. The classic art style features somewhat rigid characters, displaying little emotion.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.