Kid’s Book Review: Twelfth Night

Kid’s Book Review: Twelfth Night

About the Book and Author

William Shakespeare’s comedy about mistaken identities and unrequited love in the far-off kingdom of Illyria is re-imagined as a picture book for very young readers by Georghia Ellinas.

With exquisite and detailed illustrations from the acclaimed artist Jane Ray, who has previously been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, this captivating retelling is a magical way to introduce children to one of the best-loved works of the world’s greatest playwright.

Georghia Ellinas, a former English teacher, has focused on working with teachers across the U.K. and the world for the last thirty years. She has written several books about teaching Shakespeare, and in her role as Head of Learning at Shakespeare’s Globe was responsible for creating programs to make Shakespeare accessible and relevant to children of all ages.

Jane Ray studied art and design at Middlesex University. After graduating she designed a series of greetings cards for Roger la Borde, with whom she still works, followed by various editorial work, posters and book jackets. But she was drawn to the world of children’s books and in 1989 her first full colour picture book, A Balloon for Grandad by Nigel Gray, was published. Since then Jane has illustrated over 60 children’s books and collaborated with a huge range of writers for children.


Book Review

I think it is a good introduction to Shakespeare

This story is about a fool and his retelling of a famous love story, originally written by William Shakespeare. Twelfth Night is about twins who are shipwrecked on a stormy night. One of the twins Viola goes into town to serve Duke Orsino, disguised as a boy. The other twin (Sebastian) goes into town in search of his sister. Viola loves Duke Orsino, Orsino loves countess Olivia, Olivia loves Cesario (Viola) and so on. But if you want to know more my lips are sealed.

The illustrations were amazing, my favourite picture was the picture of Olivia on page five because it was really detailed, and the picture on the last page but one which shows the couples and the Fool enjoying each other’s company.

My favourite line was “I am Feste the fool, but that does not make me a fool.”
I also liked the bit when you learn more about Olivia and Orsino. And I liked that it was written in the Fools perspective.

A great time ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind, and the rain,
But that’s all one, our play is done,
And we’ll strive to please you every day.
Feste, Act 5, Seen 1

I would give this book 10/10 and recommend it for anyone wanting to read Shakespeare that’s not in script. I think it is a good introduction to Shakespeare


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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

Lyra young reviewer
  • Name: Lyra
  • Age: 10 years
  • Likes: reading, drawing and writing
  • Dislikes: being quiet and standing still
  • Favourite Book: Anything by Robin Stevens
  • Favourite Film: Nancy Drew
  • Favourite Song: Look at What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift