Posts Tagged ‘Upstart Press’

Much ado about Shakespeare

The life and times of William Shakespeare – a literary picture book

Written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley

ISBN 9781927262023

Upstart Press


If this book was around when I was studying the works of Shakespeare I am sure my grades would have been higher. This is both tongue-in-cheek funny and serious all at the same time. Brightly coloured illustrations showcase William Shakespeare’s entire life from birth to final breath. Each illustration is accompanied by a brief but well researched account of a specific time in Shakespeare’s life.  Each of these is in turn accompanied by quotes from Shakespeare’s works and plays. 

Donovan Bixley has given careful attention to detail especially in the illustrations of clothing and the times in general. I do love the rather buxom ladies in the bars and brothels. You can’t help but smile and wonder just what life must have been like in those days. The timeline at the back of the book makes this more than just a book to enjoy, it’s a book to learn about the life and times of one of the worlds greatest writers ever. A wonderful addition to any library or home. As soon as I return this copy to the library I will be out to get my own copy to keep. I’ll just hold on to this one a bit longer …

It is very fitting that Much ado about Shakespeare is a finalist for the Russel Clark Illustration Award in the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. A fitting tribute to the writer who died 400 years ago in 1616.