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Shakespeare’s First Folio, All the Plays: A Children’s Edition

As part of our celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust worked in partnership with the award-winning publishing house, Walker Books to produce a new folio for children to ensure his legacy is preserved for future generations.

Shakespeare’s First Folio, All the Plays: A Children’s Edition includes all 36 plays in the original volume, in the same order, and edited to be performed by 8-12 children, between 7-14 years of age, in under 20 minutes.

Abridged by Dr Anjna Chouhan, the Children's Folio uses all of Shakespeare’s language, meaning that children can access and enjoy every play in a fun context, learning weird and wonderful words like ‘sluggardise’, and ‘rampallion’, as well as famous lines including ‘friends, Romans, countrymen’, and ‘once more unto the breech’.

The book has been lavishly illustrated by Emily Sutton, whose previous titles with Walker include A First Book of the Sea, The Christmas Eve Tree and William Sieghart’s poetry anthology Everyone Sang. Described by The Times as “one of our greatest children’s illustrators”, Emily has meticulously researched each play using the SBT’s extensive collection, which includes weapons, domestic objects, textiles and early printed books as inspiration.

Shakespeare for Everyone

We want to ensure that every child has a positive first experience with Shakespeare and this new publication is another way we can engage and inspire children in an accessible way.

On publication, we are distributing 6,000 copies of the Children's Folio to schools and 3,000 copies to libraries across the country thanks to our partnership with Libraries Connected, at no cost, helping children to start their own journey with Shakespeare.

A series of free digital resources for teachers and educators are also being developed to maximise the impact of the children’s folio and will be shared soon.

Illustrations © Emily Sutton. By kind permission of Walker Books Ltd.

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