William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Candlewick. Apr. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536211443.
PreS-Gr 4–Lovely and engaging, this accessible retelling of a theatrical staple will usher in a new generation of Shakespearean devotees. Ariel, a spirit of the air, takes center stage, instantly drawing in young readers with his magical abilities. In lyrical first-person narrative, Ariel recounts the story of Prospero. Ray’s vibrantly hued paintings balance lush botanical details with airy motion and a mood of mysterious enchantment. The visuals add greatly to the plot and characterizations; the graceful Miranda looks equally at home swinging from a tree branch or reading a book, and Caliban, punished here by Prospero for making them feel unwelcome, skulks moodily inside a cave. Italicized quotes from the play are sprinkled throughout, providing a taste of the original language. The story is framed at beginning and end with proscenium-style images, but the rest of the pages are adorned with Ray’s stunning full-bleed artwork, fully immersing readers in this timeless tale.
VERDICT An engaging work with beautiful illustrations.

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