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Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver is shipwrecked and washed ashore on the exotic island of Lilliput ...

Shakespeare’s Stories


Five of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, retold  for young readers as stories.






  Illustrated by James Mayhew

Some of James’s illustrations

an extract from Macbeth

Sunless mists turned about the place, and rocks crouched low beneath a rumbling thunder. Into the circle of the gloom they came, twisting figures woven in the air; and with them came dark whisperings:

‘When shall we three meet again, in thunder, lightning or in rain?’

Hoarse with a poisonous hate, the answer lingered.

‘When the hurlyburly’s done; when the battle’s lost … and won.’

The sodden earth began to tremble …

‘That will be before the set of sun.’

‘Where the place?’

‘Upon the heath.’ A curdling wail rose through the air, as though a thousand wretched creatures were imprisoned in that moaning place.

‘There to meet with Macbeth!’ The final venomous shriek swept from the writhing shadows low across the heather and then up, up into the eye of a blackly gathering storm …


‘True to the power and poetry of the original plays, these dramatic retellings will help attract the reluctant and the intimidated to the pleasures of Shakespeare.’


‘Superbly retold’

 The Young Reader


‘Highly recommended’

The Book Report


‘all the wonder is retained and the difficulty lessened’

 Meadowcreek Learning Resources Centre

‘captures the power and humour of the original plays’

Educational Media & Technology

‘highly satisfactory means of introducing children to Shakespeare … tackles the central issues with great clarity and discretion’

Sunday Times

‘I’ve always been opposed to condensation and simplification of great works of literature. As a remedial reading teacher, I refused to have my students use versions of great books that were ‘written down’ … but here Birch has won me over completely.’

 Kliatt Paperback Guide

[published by Hodder Children’s Books]