Shakespeare Week, and the art of illustration

Next week is Shakespeare Week, a national annual celebration giving primary schools and children opportunities for enriching and enjoyable experiences of Shakespeare.  It is run by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, who have temporarily opened up access so that schools, families, home educators and cultural organisations can access a wealth of free resources.  What do you think of introducing Shakespeare in primary schools?  I’m in two minds: we have the rest of our lives to explore the emotional complexity and moral dilemmas of the plays and poems.  On the other hand, the pleasures and depths of great children’s literature are for life, not just for childhood.  Back to the librarian’s tried and tested formula of ‘the right book, for the right reader, at the right time’?

If you are teaching Shakespeare to your class, the resources and examples on the Shakespeare Week website are terrific and varied.  I especially enjoyed the debate chaired by Michael Rosen.  Also recommended: any of the resources written, designed and performed by Nicola Davies.


The Book Trust have put a call-out on Twitter for favourite illustrations from children’s books that you would pick as art to hang on your wall.  Join in the conversation on Twitter, or post your ideas here.  My first thoughts are Shaun Tan, and anything by Satoshi Kitamura, preferably featuring Lily and Nicky.




One thought on “Shakespeare Week, and the art of illustration

  1. Hi Mandy, we have a piece of original artwork from Babies Love Books by Catherine Anholt on our wall! Its a red train full of animals and a couple of babies and a book! I bought it when Rosie was tiny because she so enjoyed the Anholts’ books.

    If I was choosing art work for my own wall now it would probably be something from The Lost Words by Jackie Morris, a beautiful image from nature, shot through with gold, or something by Laura Carlin.

    I joined an online draw along with Nick Sharratt last week, and his early work was amazing, so rich with detail. I wouldn’t mind hanging one of those on my wall either… 😀

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