The Bard of Avon

The Story of William Shakespeare
Diane Stanley
688 162 940
Number of pages: 
48 pages
Grade / Age level: 

Diane Stanley's picture book biographies are wonderful! I can think of a number of titles I have seen so often on homeschool families' shelves: Joan of Ark, Michelangelo, Peter the Great, Saladin, Charles Dickens, and more! She has a very unique and captivating way to write--and illustrate--these great historical figures' biographies! These are longer picture books with a pretty good amount of text on each page.

The Bard of Avon follows all that is known about William Shakespeare, his personal and professional life, the Globe Theater and the world he lived in. Many of his plays are discussed in the book as well, with plenty of historical context. As with her other biographies, Stanley's language is both kind and respectful. It is also honest-- what is not known about a historical character is stated as such on the pages.

This is a very good first look at the Bard's life . I just asked my 8th grader, whose next reading assignment is Romeo and Juliet, to read it: she could not put it down! The author added a very interesting postscript about the language of Shakespeare and how it has permeated the English we all use everyday.

Additional notes: 

This picture book biography of William Shakespeare does not dwell at all with the issue of the great playwright's religious affiliation.

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