Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

William Shakespeare and the Globe

William Shakespeare and the Globe

Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 10 to 14
HarperCollins, 1999   ISBN: 978-0060278205

The son of a glove maker in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Will Shakespeare was one of many children. When he was just eighteen he married Anne Hathaway and soon after became a father himself. Will then had to leave his home to go and live in London in an effort to make enough of a living to be able to provide for his family. London was very different from quite little country town where he had grown up but it was just the right kind of place for a young man to make his fortune if he had talent and courage.

One of the things that made London special were the theatres and after some time Will found himself performing in the plays in one of these theatres and then writing plays himself. His plays became popular and one of the theatres where they were preformed was called the Globe.

Hundreds of years after William Shakespeare’s death another man had a dream. His name was Sam Wanamaker and he wanted to recreate the famous Globe Theatre and once more produce plays there. The author of this book tells us the story of Sam and how he got his theatre built in London and how in 1997, after Sam’s own death, a performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays was once again seen in London’s Globe Theatre.

Divided up into five acts with several scenes in each act, Aliki has created a wonderful book which not only tells us about Shakespeare’s life but which also helps us to understand what his world was like, what the theatres of that time were like, and how one of those theatres was reborn because of one man’s dream. Throughout the book readers will find wonderfully detailed annotated illustrations, maps, quotations from Shakespeare’s plays, and little portraits of the characters that Shakespeare created. In addition there are lists if his works, a chronology, and an illustrated list of some the words and expressions that Shakespeare gave the English language. All in all this is a superb book who anyone interested in the theatre.