Where’s Will?: Introducing Young Children to Shakespeare

Shakespeare Inspired Art - An Everyday Story

Illustrated Childrens Book about Shakespeare - An Everyday StoryTales of mistaken identity, tragedy, romance, forest fairies and a donkey-headed man named Bottom, these are the wonderful tales of William Shakespeare.

I stumbled across Where’s Will?: Find Shakespeare Hidden in His Plays (a Where’s Wally-style book) in our local bookstore and instantly loved it. Hamlet, MacBeth, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, all the most well-known of Shakespeare’s plays are brought together in this colourful and interesting book for children.

Shakespeare Inspired Art - An Everyday Story Illustrated Childrens Book about Shakespeare - An Everyday Story Each play is explained simply, introducing the main characters before turning the page to a wonderfully detailed scene where the reader is challenged to find each of the characters. William Shakespeare makes a cameo appearance on each page too; it’s fun to race to spot him.

Children Book About Shakespeare - An Everyday StoryJack and Sarah pour over the pictures, spotting more than just the characters, but all the other interesting townspeople and fairyfolk too. Stories of Caesar, Romeo, Juliet, Lady MacBeth & Ophelia have entered Jack and Sarah’s imaginary games and drawing.

I have a post about these wonderful drawings of Jack's that I'll publish tonight. He's been inspired by a most wonderful book. #jacksartjournal

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Jack has been inspired to create his own Where’s Will stories, although his is called Where’s Jack? 🙂 🙂 He’s been hard at work, writing stories of treasure and pirates, the ghost of a heart-broken queen and a man who met a most tragic demise. They are truly wonderful. Shakespeare Inspired Art - An Everyday Story Shakespeare Inspired Art - An Everyday Story Shakespeare Inspired Art - An Everyday Story

I love this little shipwreck and its doomed passenger

Shakespeare Inspired Art - An Everyday Story

The two unfortunate people behind rocks…I think there might be a little Hamlet or Caesar coming out there 🙂 

There really is nothing quite like a book to ignite a passion. I can not wait to see what the next page of Where’s Jack? has in store for us. Right now, as I’m writing this, Jack is adding a new page, it looks like a forest. I wonder if it will be a tragedy or a comedy…. here’s what he’s got so far, love! Can you see the little fellow down the bottom left with a missing arm?!?

Shakespeare Inspired Art - An Everyday Story Shakespeare Inspired Art - An Everyday Story

I’ve also added these two books to my library wishlist:

Sarah has a wonderful ballet DVD called My First Ballet Collection (which we’ve borrowed from a friend) of short performances from well-known ballets, that she watches almost everyday. She was very excited when she connected the dance from A Midsummer’s Night Dream to the story in Where’s Will. I think we’ll have to have a look through the DVDs at the library to see if there are any ballet performances of Shakespeare’s plays. Sarah will love that.

I love that Shakespeare’s stories have become part of Jack and Sarah’s play and inspired such creativity in Jack. I wonder where we’ll go next…

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14 Replies to “Where’s Will?: Introducing Young Children to Shakespeare”

  1. Samantha says:

    Jack’s drawing are incredible!! How old is he now? Wow, I’m just gobsmacked. He has so much talent.

    1. They really are quite wonderful, aren’t they? He’s 7 now.

  2. Just amazing! All that intricate detail. I just keep looking and looking and keep finding new and wonderful things. He is amazing.

    1. Me too 🙂 There’s so much to see in there. Did you spot Jack in each one? (hint, he’s wearing a yellow shirt) – and I love that some of the characters are wearing Shakespeare-ish clothing with big collars and knicker-bockers.

  3. The way he has drawn the cliffs is fantastic.

  4. Wow! What incredible drawings!

  5. I just love Jack’s drawings!

  6. Nilrukshie Dickson says:

    Jack’s drawings are amazing Kate!! I’m so happy that you are able to homeschool him. I definitely think you are the best person to nurture his talents. I can see that in his work. Thank you for sharing the book recommendations too. I will be purchasing a copy shortly.

  7. Thanks for sharing, I have been thinking about borrowing some of the Shakespeare books from our libraries to introduce to the kids! It will definitely make it more interesting than getting it thrown at you for your GCE O and A levels 😀

  8. These are lovely. I am also thinking to introduce Shakespeare to 7 years old. Love his drawings. So much details yet very simplistic. I love the colors and textures of the pens. You mind sharing what kind of pens were use?

  9. I have no idea if there is a way to get of it in Australia but Cbeebies, the BBC preschool channel did a fantastic version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream recently (it is still on iPlayer I think) including lots of the iloriginal dialogue. My 5 year old must have watched it 7 or 8 times and has asked me if ‘William Shakespeare made any other films’!

  10. Why did I not know about this book sooner! I’ve just ordered myself… I mean my son a copy. Amazing! And Jack’said drawinns! Wow!

  11. Wow what an awesome book! And Jack’s drawings are amazing how fabulous that he was so inspired.

  12. I’ve never been a fan of Shakespeare but my children (DS6 and DD4) and I have really enjoyed the picture book by James Mayhew called “Ella Bella Ballerina and A Midsummer NIght’s Dream.” http://www.jamesmayhew.co.uk/books-category/books-about-ella-bella-ballerina

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