I am always looking for ways to introduce classics to our children. In an age where pop culture rules it is sometimes difficult to get the children excited about books that come from a different time and place. Case in point: Shakespeare. When I was younger the word scared me. I will never forget my freshman year of high school when we had to read Romeo and Juliet. I could not wrap my head around the language. I am ashamed to say I developed a mild hatred for William Shakespeare and a slightly deeper hatred for teachers who assigned such drudgery.
This is not a story that ends wonderfully. As an adult I still dislike Shakespeare. That is not to say I don’t value the importance of reading his works and dissecting them. Instead, I am annoyed at my own inability to grasp the words and rhythm that are so important. I can’t help but think that perhaps if I had been introduced to Shakespeare in a different way I would have developed a love or at the very least a better understanding of his works.
Yet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have recently come across a very interesting collection of books that introduces Shakespeare to young readers. If you have read my previous post you will know that I am indeed a fan of graphic novels. It does not matter to me if they are original works or based on classic stories I appreciate their ability to speak to children of this age. So YES, I ordered a set of four books from the series Graphic Shakespeare. These books are great because they still use Shakespeare’s language but they also include explanations of the dialogue. Of course they also draw the children into the story because they are illustrated. I hope the children enjoy them and begin to appreciate Shakespeare in a new way because honestly, once you get past the language the stories written by Shakespeare are truly exciting!