Pop-Up Shakespeare – Text by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, illustrations by Jennie Maizels

 Pop-Up Shakespeare – Text by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, illustrations by Jennie Maizels, Candlewick Press, (9780763698744), 2017.

Format: Hard cover pop-up book

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Non-fiction

What did you like about the book? Written by two members of The Reduced Shakespeare Company (a troupe that specializes in first condensing and then performing works of literature and film), this pop-up book presents a surprisingly thorough and entertaining overview of Shakespeare’s work and times. In all, there are five double-page spreads illustrated by veteran pop-up book designer Jennie Maizels and including numerous lift the flaps. The first spread introduces the world of Shakespeare. The bulk of the work is contained in the next four spreads which present summaries and comments on all of Shakespeare’s plays in divided into four categories: comedies, histories, romances, and tragedies. It is pithy and humorous and astonishingly accurate.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended to spark interest in Shakespeare among elementary and middle school readers. HS English teachers with a sense of humor would also enjoy it. It could even work as an ironic piece in a college dorm room.

Who should buy this book? While it would be the perfect gift for Shakespearean actors and English teachers, the semi-fragile flaps make this not the best candidate for library lending. However, it would be great for display in a classroom, school or public library, or for use in a personal library. I intend to display my review copy open on top of the circulation desk in my middle school library for browsers to enjoy.

Where would you shelve it?  If you decide to circulate it, shelve with Shakespeare’s works in 822.3.  

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, you have to see it to appreciate it.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  10/10/17

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