cover image Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

Lisbeth Zwerger, trans. from the German by Anthea Bell. Minedition (IPG, dist.),

Zwerger crafts a lovely and contemplative staging of Romeo and Juliet. Brief excerpts from the play introduce sections of original and readily accessible prose: “Friar Laurence was rather surprised to find that Romeo had changed his mind so soon, and was in love with someone else. Could this end well?” Zwerger’s uncluttered illustrations, rendered in muted jewel tones and delineated with sharp edges, give the effect of peering into private moments not meant to be shared or seen. Spot illustrations of dying roses foreshadow the coming tragedy, yet Zwerger ponders a different ending in a closing note (“Might the story have taken a different turn?”), picturing Romeo and Juliet riding away together on horseback. Ages 5–7. (Oct.)