Ken Ludwig kicks off his book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, with the first line from the bardâ€™s comedy, A Midsummer Nightâ€™s Dream. From the very start Ludwig emphasizes the bookâ€™s approach, that is to get kids (and parents) memorizing Shakespeare.
The author rightfully compares the work of Old Bill with the King James translation of the Bible for its influence on Western culture. It would be very hard to overstate this influence, which can be found everywhere, once you know where to look. As a former English major, I have fond memories of reading Shakespeareâ€™s plays and poetry. The best part of the classroom experience was that we were walked through each play by a knowledgeable guideâ€”someone who pointed out the highlights and made sure we didnâ€™t miss any golden nuggets.
As old English majors know, reading the classics is not always so profitable once youâ€™re out in the â€œreal world.â€ Ludwigâ€™s book is that trusted guide I so sorely need, and aiming this book at children gives me an excuse to spend time ruminating on some of the best literature ever written. (Thatâ€™s kind of a theme on this site: using your kids as an excuse to do things that grown-ups are not supposed to have time for.)
So far, weâ€™re only a couple chapters into the book, and Grace and (to some extent) Tater are starting to get into it. Check back for updates on our progress!
(I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.)