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LEON GARFIELD won many awards including The Carnegie Medal, The Guardian Award, The Whitbread Prize and the Children's Book Award. He is best known for his historical novels. Leon Garfield died in 1996. MICHAEL FOREMAN is one of the leading children's illustrators working today. He has won many prestigious awards including the Smarties Book Prize and the Federation of Children's Book Groups' Children's Book Award. He lives in London and St Ives, Cornwall.
Gr 5 Up The value of this book will depend upon the intended use. From the deep orange endpapers, through generous margins and clear print, to the multitude of evocative illustrations, the volume is a delight. Foreman's intense watercolors and lively ink-wash illustrations go far to help create the moods of the stories. The storytelling is unevenGarfield is able to evoke the heartbreak of King Lear but fails to convey the crazy humor of Twelfth Night but it is generally competent enough. However, Garfield's visual descriptions are so specific and so lavish; his line interpretations so absolute that he almost guarantees that any given production will seem inadequate after such a buildup! Libraries that have Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare (Macmillan, 1963; o.p.) or Chute's Stories from Shakespeare (World, 1956; o.p.) probably don't need to add this luxury item. Garfield covers only 12 of the best-known plays, while the Lambs tell 20 tales and Chute leads the pack with 36. While Garfield's style is more accessible to modern readers and covers the plays more completely than the evasive Victorianisms of the Lambs, he must take a back seat when compared with the lucid straightforward prose in Chute's book. Sally T. Margolis, Town and Country Day School, Kensington, Md.