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Shakespeare's Storybook: Folk Tales That Inspired the Bard
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Shakespeare's Storybook: Folk Tales That Inspired the Bard

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  63 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Did you know that Shakespeare took inspiration for many of his plays from folk tales, ballads, and fairy tales? In this stunning collection, professional storyteller Patrick Ryan has brought together the traditional stories that are at the heart of seven of Shakespeare's masterpieces, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and King Lear. Whether you are acquainted with Shakes ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by Barefoot Books (first published 2001)
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R. C.
Apr 22, 2009 R. C. rated it it was amazing
Barefoot Books rarely disappoint me and they certainly have not here.

I love it when the introduction is written to the intended reader, to the child herself, rather than to the parent that is presumably responsible for causing the child to open the book. That is how this book opens, as it should be. Most excitingly, each short story has it's own introduction, also written to the child.

I was afraid the tales would be too abstractly related to the Shakespearean ones, but no, the connections are
Jan 01, 2009 Jeb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teachers and Parents
Beautifully written and illustrated. I never knew that King Lear is related to "Cinderella," that As You Like It is related to "Snow White," and that Winter's Tale is related to "Sleeping Beauty." While the plays of Shakespeare are not based directly on the stories we know today, they often find their roots in the same legends. This book would be a perfect way to introduce kids to Shakespeare.
Jan 27, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
This was so interesting! Holy cow! I never knew that there were stories that inspired Shakespeare. Yes, I am one of those naive people who thought that Shakespeare came up with all of the stories for his plays. Now, I still think Shakespeare is brilliant for all of his writings, but wow his stories were NOT completely original! I would have never known that there was a story about a Romeus and a Julietta where all those things happened, and Shakespeare just shortened their names. This is definit ...more
Apr 19, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fascinating collection of stories that shows the inspiration for some of Shakespeare's classic tales. The background information is a bit lengthy and our girls lost interest quickly, so I read most of the introductions silently. I gave our girls a brief summary of the introduction of each story, so they could get the gist of the story's historical roots and general plotline.

The illustrations are very colorful and lend an old fashioned feel to the stories. We liked the different tales
Dale Jarvis
Apr 23, 2016 Dale Jarvis rated it really liked it
I've been working on a theatre project with Sweetline Theatre Company, teaching actors storytelling techniques, and getting them thinking about the folktales and mythology behind some of Shakespeare's work. This was a fabulous resource, and I recommend it to anyone interested in both Shakespeare and fairytales! Great notes on source material and references, to help you find more information.
Jennica Crockett
Jan 29, 2014 Jennica Crockett rated it liked it
Shelves: january
I liked that Shakespeare's plays are simplified in this version. It isn't quite child appropriate but I think it would be better for older students in a Shakespeare unit. This would be a great Segway into the real plays. This would help the students get an idea what the actual story is before they read the harder versions. The pictures are great as well.
Jan 13, 2016 Jackie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The three stories on this audio were little folktales, and relating to other tales I heard growing up.
Aug 13, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it
Listened to this with my kids just before visiting Stratford upon Avon. I thought it was fun to hear the stories. My kids loved it too.
Mar 10, 2014 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
We listened to all these stories a few times during our Shakespeare year. It's just one more way to share Shakespeare with children.
Lexie Orme
Jan 25, 2016 Lexie Orme rated it liked it
Shelves: 01-folklore
Tons of original stories and then Shakespeare stories that were inspired by them. background information and everything.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This would be a good book to accompany any Shakespeare course, so that students could look at the folk tale that might have inspired the Bard.
Laura Vogt
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Aug 12, 2015
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P.E. Ryan also writes as Patrick Ryan.

Patrick Ryan was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Florida. His work has appeared in the Yale Review, the Iowa Review, One Story, and other journals. He lives in New York City.
More about P.E. Ryan...

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