cover image Pop-up Shakespeare

Pop-up Shakespeare

The Reduced Shakespeare Co., illus. by Jennie Maizels. Candlewick, $19.99 (10p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9874-4

“How much do you know about Shakespeare himself? Not much? No worries! Nobody else does, either.” Famous for its condensed versions of the Bard’s plays, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, a traveling comedy troupe, offers a delightfully irreverent tour of his work, assisted by pop-ups, flaps, and Maizels’s equally playful cartooning. After an introduction to Shakespeare the man, four pop-up spreads collect his comedies, histories, romances, and tragedies, combining capsule summaries with pithy takeaways (for The Merchant of Venice: “Always read the fine print”). Despite the conciseness with which the plays, sonnets, and poems are discussed, plenty of historical context is provided, and the pages are packed with information—recaps of several plays appear on the reverse sides of the flaps and pop-up castles and seascapes. For readers intimidated by Shakespeare, it’s hard to imagine a more entertaining way to get a sense of what these classics are about. Ages 7–10. (Oct.)