A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Series: Manga Shakespeare   

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Annotation: In graphic novel format, presents an adaptation of Shakespeare's classic tale about four lovers and a group of amateur actors who spend the night in the woods where the fairy king and queen dwell.
Catalog Number: #27865
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel Manga Manga
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2008
Pages: 207 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8109-9475-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-19977-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8109-9475-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-19977-4
Dewey: 822.3
LCCN: 2007028315
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Among the publishers pelting readers with graphic-format Shakespeare adaptations is Abrams, whose latest release in the Manga Shakespeare series is the first comedy in that line. With its numerous lovers tricked by fairies into loving the wrong people, and an innocent weaver's head being changed into that of a donkey, the play packs in plenty of shenanigans. In this highly abridged form, with its very literal visual interpretation, the language's subtlety and humor is easy to miss. However, the swift pacing of the manga format will sweep young readers right into pages that spread the dialogue into the least dense and intimidating concentration possible. The delicate lines of the art (black and white except for eight pages of character introductions) have an appropriate otherworldly lightness that works especially well for the fairy figures. Although readers suspicious of Shakespeare may not be entirely convinced of the Bard's worth, this book is still a place to start.
Kirkus Reviews
<p>Of late many classic titlesa"including the Biblea"have been turned into manga, in a 21st-century version of the venerable Classics Illustrated comics. This take on the Bard boils his play down to approximately 20 words per page, drastically abridging the text, though keeping intact the original language and meter. A fully colored dramatis personae reduces the characters to sound bites and shines in comparison to the flat, gray-toned images that murkily tell the story itself. As drawn by Brown, the characters are decidedly more Western-looking in their styling than is typical to most manga, and the adaptor's choice of setting is an anachronistic mishmash of quasi-antique and modern, a choice that will leave sophisticated readers knowledgeable with the text slightly puzzled. The Tempest (ISBN: 978-0-8109-9476-8), drawn by Paul Duffield, follows an identical template. These attempts to convert Shakespeare into visual language fall flat, although the slick manga styling alone may attract some new readers to these works. (plot summary, author's biography) (Graphic fiction. 13 & up)</p>
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up Shakespeares classic play is retold with a significant effort by the publisher to preserve the language and tone of the original. And its a successful effort; the dialogue remains mostly intact and Browns clever layouts do a good job of both staging the action and providing a well-paced breakdown of the Shakespearean English, so that new or young readers will be better able to comprehend the sometimes-arcane language. However, Brown has a curious tendency to have the flow of word balloons drift from right to left. With this OEL adaptation paging from left to right, this occasionally makes the pages mildly confusing to read. An additional distraction is the decision to have the play set in an alternate world where people dress in Roman robes over mod-style shirts and trousers, and where futuristic telecoms exist alongside antique swords. And while the figure work may not be everyones cup of teathe boys are cute in a yaoi sort of way, while the girls have a wide-eyed awkwardness, and noses disappear and reappear continuallythe storytelling and layouts show a high level of craft and succeed in portraying much of the humor of the play. Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH
Voice of Youth Advocates
Appignanesi's abridged texts both maintain the multithreaded plots of the plays but sacrifice most exposition and longer speeches in order to fit each character's language into the limited space allowed by speech bubbles. Readers will get a good sense of action and character from these adaptations but gain only a limited sense of the richness and complexity of Shakespeare's language. Yet substituting the visual conventions of manga in place of those typical for performed drama serves in some instances to increase the difficulty of comprehending the play. As is typical in manga, the characters share many physical traits. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, a tale in which mistaken identity is a theme, the fact that the four young lovers all appear rather interchangeable in Brown's illustrations might lead to reader frustration rather than thematic enlightenment. Similarly Duffield's tendency in The Tempest to dot speech balloons across a frame rather than tightly aligning them with a particular speaker could make the dialogue difficult to follow. More sophisticated manga readers might have no trouble with these conventions, but for readers inexperienced in Renaissance drama and manga, the blend of artistic traditions will prove daunting. Although presenting Shakespeare as manga is bound to attract new readers to the plays and continues a rich tradition of adaptation and reinterpretation, these additions seem likely to appeal most to those who are already familiar with the plots of the famous dramas.-Megan Lynn Isaac.
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Guided Reading Level: Z
Fountas & Pinnell: Z

The latest in the breakout series Manga Shakespeare , introducing teens to a new kind of Bard. In one of Shakespeare's funniest, most enduring stories, meddling fairies create unexpected love triangles among a group of teenagers. Hermia is in love with Lysander. Demetrius is in love with Hermia. Helena is in love with Demetrius. Add to the mix Puck, a fairy with a powerful love potion, and chaos is sure to follow. Now everyone's in love with Helena, Hermia is hopping mad, and the fairy queen Titania is in love with a man with a donkey's head! Using the style and visual language of manga, Kate Brown transforms Shakespeare's world into something new and vibrant. It's the perfect introduction to Shakespeare's work for reluctant readers and manga fans alike. F&P level: Z

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