Did you know that Shakespeare is alive today and more fun than ever?

Shakespeare's stories may be over 400 years old but they're stories we all still love to hear - although we may sometimes be put off reading them, or offering them to a child to read, by the language and an assumption that they'll be too difficult or too 'academic'. And as we know, sometimes our perceptions of the books that children will be interested in can be limiting when it comes to offering them the choice of what they read.

But these wonderful stories, filled to the brim with every human emotion - jealousy, anger, kindness, sadness, fallibility, misunderstanding, fear and love, to name a few, - remain relevant to the modern world and offer many opportunities for children to learn from them.

So, our theme for this month, in honour of Shakespeare Week (21st-27th March), is Beanstalk Brilliant Books which have the power to introduce children to the world of Shakespearean stories, or the world in which Shakespeare lived, in a fun but informative and non-intimidating way.

'To Wee or Not to Wee' by Pamela Butchart retells (with some poetic licence) a number of Shakespeare's timeless plays in an amusing and enagaging way and we've chosen a selection of other titles which are guaranteed to inspire a new generation of Shakespeare-lovers!

About the book

To Wee or Not to Wee by Pamela Butchart illustrated by Thomas Flincham.

When Izzy is asked to tell her friends some hilarious and scary stories she knows exactly where to look: Shakespeare, the king of super dramatic stuff.

After learning about Macbeth (a strong solider who ate four bowls of porridge and twenty pieces of toast every morning) her friends want more. So Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet all get the Izzy treatment. There’s blood and guts, ghosty stuff, and plenty of people wandering around in their nighties. The perfect introduction to the Bard!

John Chisham, an actor who works for Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation reads from 'To Wee or Not to Wee'

Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation (CSSF) is a cultural education charity within the Coram group that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork. Through the unique power of Shakespeare they transform lives and give young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

Download some CSSF activities about Shakespearean Insults here!

Equally brilliant books with the same theme - Shakespeare-related books

Download this list of books as a PDF