Sutcliffe-Jane.-Will’s-Words-How-William-Shakespeare-Changed-the-Way-You-Talk-286x300Title: Will’s Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk

Author: Jane Sutcliffe

Illustrator:  John Shelley

Publisher: Watertown, MA, Charlesbridge, 2016

Genre: Picture book, non-fiction

Audience Age: 8 and up

Theme: William Shakespeare, word derivations

Opening Sentences: Dear Reader: We have to talk. I have failed you. I set out to write a book about the Globe Theatre and its great storyteller, William Shakespeare. … I wanted to tell you the story in my own words. But Will Shakespeare’s words are there, too, popping up all over the place.

Synopsis: If you’ve ever said something vanished into thin air, or been told that more of the treat you want would be “too much of a good thing,” or if you’ve ever felt you’ve been sent on a “wild-goose chase,” then you have quoted Shakespeare, likely without realizing it.

In Will’s Words, Jane Sutcliffe tells the story of Shakespeare and his Globe Theatre in a way that uses and explains many of Shakespeare’s contributions to the English language.

Each double-page spread of this book is richly illustrated in detail (but in a fun way) showing a crowded street in London, or people at the Globe watching one of Shakespeare’s plays.

Brief text, using at least one of the words or phrases Shakespeare introduced, appears in a box on the page on the left, telling part of the story, and equally brief text appears in a box on the right-hand page, defining the word or phrase and telling where to find it in Shakespeare’s plays.

I learned a lot from reading this book, and I had great fun examining all the illustrations. Although it’s technically a picture book, it’s definitely not the kind you read as a story to a small child. This is a book for older kids, particularly those who like words and theatre, to really delve into.

Activities/Resources:

It would be interesting to look through Shakespeare’s plays and find the various places where Sutcliffe has indicated these words and phrases appear.

The Charlesbridge (publisher) website has more information – you can see examples of the illustrations, and download an activity guide with reader’s theatre.

Availability: Readily available. Check with your local independent bookstore.

%d bloggers like this: