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Will's Words
Cover of Will's Words
Will's Words
How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk
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When Jane Sutcliffe sets out to write a book about William Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre, in her own words, she runs into a problem: Will's words keep popping up all over the place! What's an...
When Jane Sutcliffe sets out to write a book about William Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre, in her own words, she runs into a problem: Will's words keep popping up all over the place! What's an...
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Description-

  • When Jane Sutcliffe sets out to write a book about William Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre, in her own words, she runs into a problem: Will's words keep popping up all over the place! What's an author to do? After all, Will is responsible for such familiar phrases as "what's done is done" and "too much of a good thing." He even helped turn "household words" into household words.   But, Jane embraces her dilemma, writing about Shakespeare, his plays, and his famous phrases with glee. After all, what better words are there to use to write about the greatest writer in the English language than his very own?  As readers will discover, "the long and the short of it" is this: Will changed the English language forever.   Backmatter includes an author's note, a bibliography, and a timeline.

Excerpts-

  • From the book 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. About how the man was an absolute genius with words and wove those words into the most brilliant and moving plays ever written
    But that's just the trouble. You see, 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.
    It's not my fault. Really. Will's words are everywhere. They're bumping into our words all the time, and we don't even know it. So how could I help it, for goodness' sake?
    There, you see what I mean? Those are Will's words, all mixed in with mine. People just love his plays, and they've kept on loving them for hundreds of years-hundreds! And the more they love his plays, the more they use his words. Now his words and sayings are everywhere, ending up in the stuff we say and write every day. I couldn't avoid them if I tried—and I did try.
    Well, I suppose what's done is done.
    Oh. Right. Maybe I'll just stop now and let you read the book.
    Yours truly,
    The Author

About the Author-

  • JANE SUTCLIFFE is author of Stone Giant: Michelangelo's David and How He Came to Be, The White House Is Burning: August 24, 1814, and more than two dozen other books for children. Jane lives in Tolland, Connecticut.
    JOHN SHELLEY grew up near Shakespeare's birthplace at Stratfordupon-Avon. He has illustrated more than forty children's books, including Stone Giant: Michelangelo's David and How He Came to Be and Family Reminders. John lives in Norwich, England.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2016

    Gr 3-6-Focusing on the now commonplace words that Shakespeare introduced into the English language, Sutcliffe describes the inner workings of the Globe Theatre and the Bard's genius. The verso of each spread presents historical facts about Elizabethan London and the theatrical tradition it spawned, with Shakespeare's words interspersed amid Sutcliffe's lively prose, while the recto highlights the words, explains their meanings (both original and contemporary), and cites their usage in the poet's plays. Shelley's meticulously detailed painted pen-and-ink drawings brim with life and convey a clear sense of 1606 London, "a bustling, jostling, clinging, singing, stinking, head-chopping, pickpocketing wonder of a city," while still managing to individualize the personages both onstage and off. They are perfectly married to Sutcliff's concise, humorous, fact-filled prose. While the author references the few known truths of Shakespeare's life, the emphasis is on his once-inventive but now familiar words, thus setting this title apart from most standard biographies. Readers will discover the origins of basic terms and expressions, such as hurry, fashionable, and cold-blooded. The book opens and concludes with a letter from Sutcliffe laying out her intentions in penning this work and discussing what we know of Shakespeare's life. Pair this gem with Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema's Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare (Morrow, 1992) for a full portrait of Shakespeare's genius. VERDICT A beautifully presented, original approach to the playwright's lasting contributions to the English language.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2016
    Sutcliffe presents an enjoyable, if slightly rocky, introductory reconnaissance into Shakespeare's wordplay. Shakespeare could turn a phrase, and Sutcliffe brings a number of them to readers' attention, smartly worked into a vest-pocket history of London theater during Shakespeare's days. Shelley's artwork is a lively accompaniment, delicate in color and linework but bustling as only a big population in small confines can be. Each double-page spread presents a few paragraphs of text about London theater on verso, the occasional word or phrase printed in boldface. On recto are boxed items that give the meanings of the highlighted words--and how some have changed considerably: "wild-goose chase" meant a horse race with the leader and followers in the shape of geese in flight; now it means a useless search. The location of the words in Shakespeare's works is also provided, and there's a handy timeline at the end of the book. There are gems--"too much of a good thing," "a sorry sight," "foul play" ("fair play," too)--but then there are some complete mysteries: "excitement," "fashionable," "well behaved," all of which underwhelm. Why bother with these when there are so many goodies to choose from? "Crack of doom," "break the ice," "brave new world"--treasures all. Still, even if what's done is done, there is absolutely no need to knit a brow or make short shrift of this well-tempered piece of work. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • treasures all. Still, even if what's done is done, there is absolutely no need to knit a brow or make short shrift of this well-tempered piece of work.--Kirkus Reviews Sutcliffe presents an enjoyable, if slightly rocky, introductory reconnaissance into Shakespeare's wordplay. Shakespeare could turn a phrase, and Sutcliffe brings a number of them to readers' attention, smartly worked into a vest-pocket history of London theater during Shakespeare's days. Shelley's artwork is a lively accompaniment, delicate in color and linework but bustling as only a big population in small confines can be. Each double-page spread presents a few paragraphs of text about London theater on verso, the occasional word or phrase printed in boldface. On recto are boxed items that give the meanings of the highlighted words--and how some have changed considerably: "wild-goose chase" meant a horse race with the leader and followers in the shape of geese in flight; now it means a useless search. The location of the words in Shakespeare's works is also provided, and there's a handy timeline at the end of the book. There are gems--"too much of a good thing," "a sorry...

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    Charlesbridge
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