Romeo & Juliet

adapted by Lisbeth Zwerger. tr. from German by Anthea Bell. illus. by Lisbeth Zwerger. 48p. glossary. Minedition. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9789888341283.
Gr 4–6—Shakespeare's immortal lovers are brought to life for tweens in this illustrated adaptation of the classic drama. Zwerger's text follows the original plot faithfully, and Bell's translation flows smoothly. Brief quotations from the original are interspersed throughout. The language is handled with delicacy, and the word choice is suited to the intended audience (this version downplays the tale's violence and lust without doing a disservice to the story). Watercolor illustrations in Zwerger's distinctive style are the real star of the book, though they do not grace every page. In one case (the death of Mercutio), an illustration falls on the page turn before the events depicted are described. A brief epilogue offers an alternate ending for those who are disappointed by the lovers' tragic demise.
VERDICT Purchase where there is a demand for adaptations of Shakespeare's works.

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