Reviews /

A Midsummer Night’s Drama

Authored by Louie Stowell
Illustrated by Isobel Lundie
Published by Little Tiger Press Group

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A Midsummer Night’s Drama is a delightful bedtime story for budding storytellers and young children who are too excited to settle down to sleep!

William – Bill – Bear is a talented bard who lives in the woods with his three friends, running the local theatre and putting on plays to entertain the many animals who inhabit the forest kingdom. Even Queen Bee visits the Glade theatre to watch this boisterous and talented theatre company act Bill’s plays. One night, after an acclaimed performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bill finds himself too proud and excited for sleep: fidgeting and restless, inspired to write another play well into the night. He ends up disturbing his friends’ sleep and all the animals living nearby! When Queen Bee’s herself manifests her royal displeasure, will Bill’s friends’ inventive advice help him relax and finally fall asleep?

Inspired by William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this picture book is a joyous combination of story and illustrations, capturing the play’s dreamy and cheerful atmosphere. The text – by Louie Stowell – is accessible and engaging. The artwork – by Isobel Lundie – so vivid, colourful and intricate, readers, young and old, will lose themselves in the beautifully defined scenes: racking the details of costumes and props – the deep blues and pale moonlights of the night scenes perfectly sleep-inducing; the map drawn in the endpaper a particular treat for adult readers, populated with references to the world of Shakespearean plays. At the back of the book, a brief overview of Shakespeare’s biography, as well as some quotations and words of his creation, offer the readers the chance to begin their acquaintance with such a prominent literary genius. It’s never too soon to acknowledge his influence on the English language!

Whether serving as a story for tired parents facing battles with young children at bedtime; or providing an accessible and fun introduction to William Shakespeare for a very young audience in early years; or celebrating with readers the joys of theatre life; this book is undoubtedly a success!