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Julius Caesar [Large Print]
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Gr 5-8-This full-color adaptation makes Shakespeare's tragedy accessible for middle grade readers. Each spread is headlined with a descriptive phrase. Panels consist of brief snippets of original text in speech balloons, accompanied by a box summarizing the dialogue and action. Unfamiliar words are defined in footnotes. Color effectively signals changes in time of day, with warm sepia hues for daylight scenes and gray tones for night settings. Shading also becomes more subdued as the mood darkens. The artist's use of red is especially compelling. At the drama's onset, red only appears on Caesar's toga. However as the story progresses, readers see blood on the hands of the conspirators, then Mark Antony dramatically carrying Caesar's body. Red becomes increasingly pervasive in the battlefield scenes, with bright crimson flames licking the air and soldiers arrayed in red-plumed helmets and scarlet capes. At times this adaptation is difficult to read, as the text boxes are often a rephrasing of the dialogue balloons. Readers may feel as if the same information is presented twice in each panel. In addition to information on Shakespeare and his plays, back matter includes historical information on Julius Caesar, ancient Rome, and ancient writers.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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