Children have had problems with Shakespeare for generations. He may be celebrated as our greatest poet and playwright but he can be pretty heavy going at times. It’s all down to the Elizabethan language, humour and classical references. Engaging children’s interest in the Bard has always been a challenge – but for no longer. The Shakespeare in Easy Reading Verse series is a fun and easy route in, presenting Shakespeare’s plays in a way that creates a hugely entertaining bridge to the original texts. The bouncing lyrics show, often in amusing style, just what great stories are contained within the plays. These books are a must for children fighting to get to grips with the Bard. They put an end to their struggles and may well ignite a lifelong passion. The books are great for adults too.
Teachers are using these books to introduce students to Shakespeare’s plays. But even more importantly children are reading these books for their own pleasure and are thereby obtaining a knowledge of Shakespeare’s complete canon.
Some testimonials from the world of Education
‘For children who find original Shakespeare plays too difficult, this series can provide a wonderful introduction to the storylines. Author Richard Cuddington retells them in easy-to-read, fast moving rhyme, concentrating on essential plot elements and featuring only main characters.’
‘As a Year 6 English teacher responsible for introducing Shakespeare to children for the first time, I have found that Richard Cuddington’s books have been an excellent, child-friendly accompaniment to our existing Shakespeare resources.
For children of primary school age the plots and characterisation in Shakespeare’s plays – as opposed to the original complex language – are of paramount importance. Cuddington’s books, written in fun, easily accessible verse are fantastic vehicles for a beginner’s understanding of these two key aspects of Shakespeare’s works.
Many children in my primary school have read and enjoyed Richard Cuddington’s Shakespeare books. What greater testimony to the entertaining accessibility of Cuddington’s writing could there be than that?’
Edward Hassall – Head of English – Highfield School, Maidenhead
‘This series contains a great deal of detail that allows readers to grasp the intricacies of the plot and of key speeches as well as significant events and comic moments. The descriptions of the characters and the modernisation of their language also reveal important character information and motivation.
Teachers could use extracts for class work, having students compare them with the relevant passage in the original text, or encourage a short performance in comparison with a performance from the text. Reading aloud from one of these poems would be less daunting for some students than reading the original text. The possibilities are endless.
This set of books will be invaluable for school libraries, for teachers and for students of Speech and Drama. They offer an enjoyable way into the plays of Shakespeare that will allow them to experience the original texts with more confidence and understanding.’
Anna Renton Green – Head of Speech and Drama – Downe House School
‘A wonderful introduction to Shakespeare – my classes love this book.’
Madeleine Moore. Head of English. West Hill Park School, Titchfield
‘Profoundly encouraging for the future of Shakespeare in schools. Accessibility is the key, and Richard has found one.’
Adrian Hilton – Head of Faculty – Slough Grammar School.
Holder of the Guinness World Record for reciting the Complete Works non-stop. He has also directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
‘Inspirational in making Shakespeare more accessible and pupil friendly. Richard Cuddington’s books are a great teaching aid.’
Mikaela Milne – Teacher of English – Brune Park College, Gosport
‘Richard Cuddington’s Shakespeare books are fun, easy to follow and highly engaging. They bring Shakespeare’s plots and characters to life in amusing bite-size verse and make the plays instantly accessible and understandable to children from Year 5 onwards, as teachers across the UK have already discovered’.