Ryan North achieves a clever balance between acknowledging the play and the language which people have loved for hundreds of years, as well as making the language modern and accessible. Given the style of book, it is largely written in second person. North, as narrator and circus ringmaster speaks to you directly, sometimes cajoling, at other times making fun, like a familiar friend.

One of the ways he achieves the balance between the old text and the new is in the choices he sometimes provides the reader. When the story reaches a famous speech in the play, for instance, the reader is often given the choice to speak plainly or speak all fancy. If you speak all fancy you get to read Shakespeare's original speech, interspersed by North's comments, sometimes encouraging, at other times funny.

What about the illustrations?: 13

Tell me about the reading experience: 10