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Publisher's Summary

Famed author E. Nesbit (The Railway Children) brings 20 of Shakespeare's plays to life in language that children can understand. They are entertaining narratives that describe the Bard's main characters and often intricate plots. Each story provides a concise overview for anyone about to experience a Shakespeare play for the first time. Includes:

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • The Tempest
  • As You Like It
  • The Winter's Tale
  • King Lear
  • Twelfth Night
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Pericles
  • Hamlet
  • Cymbeline
  • Macbeth
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • Timon of Athens
  • Othello
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Measure for Measure
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • All's Well That Ends Well

Public Domain (P)2017 Anne Hancock

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Myztikal
  • On the Edge of Glory
  • 06-10-18

Shakespeare for Elementary Ears

E Nesbit was a wonderfully talented author for youth. Her interpretation of almost two dozen Shakespeare books are flawlessly written (and delivered!) for youth to understand, cultivating their minds until they are older to read the works as they were written.

Each ‘book’ is divided into its own chapter. At least on my Audible app.

I’m looking forward to sharing this lovely audiobook, performed by Anne Hancock, with my granddaughters one day (they’re still in diapers, so this is not quite whimsical enough for them!)

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Good audio summaries of Shakespeare plays BUT....

These are good, short summaries of many Shakespeare plays. There's not enough detail here to prepare a book report on any of the plays but there is enough to understand who the characters are and what happened in each story.

I often play trivia-style games containing questions such as 'Who is Rosalind's lover in such-and-such play by Shakespeare?". Shakespeare also pops up occasionally on Jeopardy (and there's nothing worse than seeing an entire Jeopardy category that you know almost nothing about, right?). This audiobook will enable you to answer those types of questions. Of course, it's also targeted to younger readers who are brand new to Shakespeare, who are studying Shakespeare in school and want a plain-English summary of what a particular play is about, or who would like to read Shakespeare on their own and can't decide which ones might be interesting to them.

Each summary reads like a short story, so we're not getting info-dumped. It's a short audiobook (20 plays summarized in 4 1/2 hours). It doesn't include his complete works, but it will be helpful for people who might recognize Shakespeare titles but don't know what the story is about.

The narration is good and clear...BUT!.... all of the stories are recorded as a SINGLE TRACK. No track/chapter breaks separating the stories. Oh my goodness, that's a HORRIBLE way to produce an audiobook like this. Good luck to you if you want to go back to the start of a specific story and listen to it again -- 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is the only one you'll be able to find easily (since it's the very first story). I don't know who to blame, but I can easily see how that would frustrate the heck out of a lot of listeners who purchase this in audiobook format.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."