Reviews for William Shakespeare's the Tempest

Horn Book Guide Reviews 1995
Coville's faithful adaptation of Shakespeare's play is approachable and well written. Sanderson's richly colored oil paintings convey the drama, as the magician Prospero contrives to seek revenge on his enemies, who have been magically shipwrecked on his island. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Publishers Weekly Reviews 1994 September #3
This dramatic picture book serves as a good introduction to Shakespeare's well-loved play. Coville (Aliens Ate My Homework) retains the play's supernatural elements while strongly developing themes of human weakness, revenge and forgiveness. Wisely, he simplifies the plot, untangling past histories to relate the tale chronologically. His love of the play is evident, and his narrative is both compassionate and humorous. However, as is generally true of retellings of classic works, the book only hints at the wit and the extraordinary language of the original and, at best, strives chiefly to lead readers to the Bard's own words. Moreover, the plot feels rushed in this format (``But the celebration had hardly begun when Ariel arrived to tell his master of Caliban's dark plan''). Sanderson's (The Enchanted Wood) old-fashioned oil paintings capture both ethereal spirits and the heavy brocade of the period setting. Her pastel skies, her depiction of springtime in an island setting, evoke a tender feeling of hope. All in all, an admirable introduction. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 1994 December
Gr 3-6-Coville tells the central story of The Tempest in a graceful, fairy-tale style, beginning with ``Once on a time....'' The telling is accurate as far as it goes and, for a young audience, the elimination of flashbacks may help avoid confusion. However, much of the humor and magic that depends on the poetry and wordplay are lost. The threat and foolishness of Caliban, the illusions of Prospero and Ariel, the innocent wonder of Miranda, and the sufferings and repentance of Prospero's targets must be developed to be felt and understood. Sanderson's full-page oils are powerfully rendered, full of light, massive cliffs, half-seen sprites, and stormy seas. Prospero is strong and dominating, while Miranda is sweetly realistic if somewhat stolid. It's unfortunate that Caliban, the character with the most child appeal, seems a bit puny. The island setting is the star of these pictures-a wild and worthy brave, new world. Perhaps the simplified story and lavish pictures will help create an audience for the play, but there is little flesh on the bones of this tale.-Sally Margolis, Deerfield Public Library, IL Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.