Where’s Will?: Find Shakespeare Hidden in His Plays
Illustrator: Tilly; Author: Anna Claybourne
Published September 1, 2015 by Kane Miller Books
Goodreads Summary: Spot Will Shakespeare and a selection of colourful characters from ten of his best-loved plays! Can you pick out Puck in the midsummer night? Will you spy Cecilia hidden in the Forest of Arden? And can you see Shakespeare making a cameo in every scene?
First, get to know each play by reading a snappy synopsis of the plot and meeting the main characters. Next, hunt for the characters, who are hidden in the detailed and beautifully illustrated pictures of the plays’ settings.
My Review: This book was a lot of fun for me to read! Readers of all ages would enjoy it. My son (age two) enjoyed pointing to all of the animals and people in the book. An elementary schooler or middle schooler would enjoy finding Will, the characters, and the pig in all of the pictures. A high schooler or adult will appreciate the brief (about 300 words) synopses of each play and illustrations (along with finding Will, of course). Each play features a two-page spread similar to a graphic novel, where the play is depicted in illustrations and words. At the top of each spread are cameos of the main characters of the play. Then, the reader can turn the page and search for the characters, Will, and the pig in a very detailed illustration (see below).
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I haven’t read the full version of each play featured in the book, but I am quite inspired to read them now! High school teachers would love this book. It shows the complexity and greatness of Shakespeare’s work. After reading one of Shakespeare’s plays, a teacher could show the students the synopsis and the spread. This provides a picture of the time period and also allows for conversations about why the author may have made decisions to include/exclude specific plot details. If my tenth graders had all read Romeo & Juliet the previous year, it would be neat to show them that play. Then, when we read another Shakespeare play, I could ask them to illustrate their own scenes. This would be an intense final project, and I would give the option for students to use video games as a platform for this kind of world-building.
Discussion Questions: How do the illustrations of the plays differ? Why might the illustrator have chosen to depict the play with these colors/moods?; What tough decisions might the author have faced when choosing the plot details to include in the 300-word synopses?; How do these illustrations/synopses give us fuller depictions of the plays?
Read This If You Loved: Plays by William Shakespeare; Where’s Waldo? books
**Thank you to Lynn for providing a copy for review!**