A Midsummer Night's Dream for Kids


64 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-55209-130-9
DDC jC812'.54





Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


“Titania was sleeping in her flowery bed, / When Bottom appeared, his
arms outspread, // ‘Hee haw! Hee haw!’ was his ludicrous tune. / Her
eyes flew open. She wanted to swoon.” ... “Puck was delighted with
his plan, / And left Nick Bottom, part burro, part man.” ... “Oberon
was eager to hear of the trick. / ‘How did it go, Puck? Who did she
pick?’” ... “‘She’s in love with a monster,’ was Puck’s
report. / ‘A donkey!’ he cried, to make a long story short.”

The above is an abridged version of Lois Burdett’s fourth book based
on William Shakespeare and one of his immortal plays. For more than 20
years, Burdett, a primary school teacher in Stratford, Ontario, has made
it her mission to make The Bard relevant to Canadian students as young
as seven years old. To accomplish this, she converts Shakespeare’s
beautiful but often convoluted iambic pentameter into simple rhyming
couplets that children (and even their parents) can understand. Burdett
has already translated Twelfth Night and Macbeth. With this volume,
youngsters can now follow such characters as Theseus, Hippolyta, Oberon,
Puck, and Tom Snout without needing resource notes. Besides reworking
the words, Burdett also provides ideas for fun activities that enable
students to learn even more about the play. In this particular case, she
suggests that students research the Ancient Greek legend of Theseus or
draw a map illustrating the journey of the young lovers through the
forest. Highly recommended.


Burdett, Lois., “A Midsummer Night's Dream for Kids,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/18970.