Walking home from school, along the busy bit of pavement where lots of parents are loading children into cars, Lex tells me he’s been reading Shakespeare’s plays. Oh I say, which ones in particular? Julius Caesar he tells me. That’s nice I say, what happens in the play? He gets stabbed mummy – in the head!
Now Lex is not quite seven so this little interaction made me feel like I was about to be the subject of a ‘OMG performance parent alert‘ thread on Mumsnet – ‘AIBU to think that going on about Shakespeare on the school run is a tad pretentious?’. In my defence he brought it up unprompted and I tried not to be too loud about it but this totally validates my Book People addiction – the book he had been reading is from a set of books by Marcia Williams. Not quite Shakespeare unabridged and in the original but clearly accessible to Lex so how very cool is that? I resisted the urge to explain this to the mother just behind us, she probably wasn’t listening and if she was it most likely would only have cemented my place as performance parent of the afternoon (even if there’s a trophy I’d rather not win that – unless of course the prize is chocolate, I could parent really loudly for chocolate).
All the books in the set brilliant introductions to various classic stories – Lex enjoyed the Greek Myths book during his Olympic theme during last term and has, erm, read a bit of the Canterbury Tales recently – but I particularly like the Shakespeare books. They’re each set as a comic strip with an contemporary explanation of what’s happening underneath each panel but the dialogue is all original and there’s a cartoon audience to give additional help to the kids in understanding the plot.
I love that my son enjoys reading as much as he does and he knows about Shakespeare and that he wrote a play called Julius Caesar. He’s not planning on reading the Tempest though. Apparently that looks too romantical and he’s not interested in that sort of thing.