Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Barbara Kindermann
Illustrator:  Christa Unzner 
Picture Book
For ages 7 to 12
NorthSouth Books, 2003   ISBN: 978-0735820906

There are times when families carry old quarrels with them from generation to generation. So it was with the Montagues and the Capulets who lived in the Italian town of Verona. The feud between the two houses was bitter and whenever a Montague met a Capulet a fight was sure to ensue.

One night the Capulets held a ball in honor of Juliet, the Capulet daughter. One of the Montague sons, Romeo, managed to sneak into the ball wearing a mask and he instantly fell in love with the beautiful Juliet and she in turn fell in love with him. Unfortunately the young couple was seen by Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, who vowed to punish Romeo for coming to the Capulet party. Juliet and Romeo knew nothing of this for they were completely wrapped up in each other and they promised to love one another forever.

Alas for the lovers, for the very day after the party Tybalt and Romeo met in the town and fought. Tybalt was killed and a distraught Romeo was labeled a murderer. The prince of the city was merciful and decided to banish the young man but for Romeo this was a fate worse than death for he could not bear the thought of living without his Juliet. What were the young lovers to do now?

Filled with quotes from Shakespeare’s original play, this superb retelling of this tragic love story will give young readers a wonderful taste Shakespeare’s of skill as a storyteller and dramatist. Atmospheric ink and watercolor illustrations perfectly compliment the text in this very special picture book.