Shakespeare’s Birthday Resources

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564.  The exact date of his birthday is not recorded, but is most often celebrated around the world on 23 April.

If you would like to discover more about Shakespeare try some of these resources:


Shakespeare Week 2020

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Shakespeare Week is a national annual celebration giving primary school aged children opportunities for enriching and early encounters with Shakespeare – his characters, stories and language. Shakespeare Week was created and is coordinated by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Why celebrate Shakespeare? Shakespeare is a named author on the curriculum in 65% of countries, studied by around half of the world’s schoolchildren every year. He has been hailed as the UK’s greatest cultural export, and the foremost reason why people are proud to be British. However, many British children encounter Shakespeare in their teens as a mandatory subject studied for exams. Many consider Shakespeare difficult and not for them, and so are unlikely to introduce their children to his works.

This is why Shakespeare Week is so important as it introduces children to Shakespeare in a fun and inspiring way. Shakespeare Week has already brought one of the world’s most famous playwrights to life for an estimated 2 million children across the UK.

Choose a fun book to share with your child on Shakespeare from Wokingham Libraries…

The Weird World of William Shakespeare by Andrew Donkin explores everything you don’t know about the man with the quill pen!

The Queen Loved to See Shakespeare’s Bottom! The Fact or Fiction Behind Shakespeare by Kay Barnham explores popular myths and legends in a humorous way.

Michael Rosen’s book What’s So Special about Shakespeare? offers a whirlwind tour of Shakespeare’s life, his London, and four of his plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, King Lear, and The Tempest.

Tales from Shakespeare by Marcia Willett is a witty re-telling of fourteen of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, with full-colour illustrations throughout.

To reserve a copy visit the online catalogue here


Shakespeare Week

Shakespeare Activity Session for Children on Saturday March 25  from 11am to 11.30am

At Lower Earley Library, Maiden Erlegh Library, Wokingham Library and Woodley Library, Just drop in and try some fun Shakespeare themed activities for children aged 7 and over.

Shakespeare Books to try for children…..

shakespearemWhat’s so special about Shakespeare? by Michael Rosen

Ideal for browsing, this book is divided into clear sections. It includes studies of four of Shakespeare’s plays, intriguing facts and information about Shakespeare himself and the world at this time, accompanied by a useful time line.


shakespeareqThe queen loved to see Shakespeare’s bottom! : the fact or fiction behind Shakespeare by  Kay Barnham.

This title explores popular myths and legends about the world’s greatest playwright in a tongue-in-cheek, humorous way that kids will find unputdownable. Alongside features such as ‘the Bard’s best bits’, in which we learn that Shakespearean quotes and phrases are still part of our everyday language, statements such as ‘the Queen loved Shakespeare’s bottom’ or ‘Shakespeare burned down the Globe Theatre’ are explored and given a ‘truth’ or ‘busted’ evaluation.

boyglobeThe boy and the globe by Tony Bradman

Young Toby lives on his wits. An orphan and a street-child, he navigates Elizabethan London like an old hand. Meanwhile the city has lost its charm for Will Shakespeare, the playwright from Stratford. Beset by troubles personal and professional and suffering from writer’s block, he has grown to hate the drama business. But when Toby stumbles into the Globe, the boy’s energy and enthusiasm remind Will of the magic that first inspired his love of the theatre, and the two set to work on a new entertainment for ‘Twelfth Night’.

toweTo wee or not to wee! by Pamela Butchart

Hamlet could NEVER make his mind up about ANYTHING. And one time he actually went to school in just his pants and got sent home because he couldn’t decide what to wear.  When Izzy is asked to tell her friends some HILARIOUS and SCARY stories she knows exactly where to look: Shakespeare, the king of SUPER dramatic stuff.

After learning about Macbeth (a STRONG solider who ate four bowls of porridge and twenty pieces of toast every morning) her friends want more. So Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet all get the Izzy treatment. There’s blood and guts, ghosty stuff, and plenty of people wandering around in their nighties. The perfect introduction to the Bard!

shakespearebShakespeare’s tales retold by Beverley Birch and illustrated by Stephen Lambert.

Tragedy, comedy and history are all here for you in this wonderful adaptation of four Shakespeare plays. Something for everyone!  ‘The barge she sat in like a burnished throne, burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold, purple the sails…’  A lyrical re-telling of Shakespeare’s plays; Hamlet, The Tempest, Anthony and Cleopatra and Othello by respected children’s author Beverley Birch, partnered with sublime illustrations by Stephen Lambert. A perfect introduction to these landmark plays.

You can borrow these books from our libraries, so check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you:

Shakespeare Week 2016

Celebrating-Shakespeare-in-Libs-ColourShakespeare Week 14-20 March 2016 is a national annual celebration giving children a great first encounter with Shakespeare.  We look forward to celebrating 2016 when we mark 400 years of Shakespeare’s creative legacy with thousands of schools, families and organisations. Celebrations and events will happen throughout 2016.

At Wokingham Borough Libraries we are hosting some creative events with Shakespeare’s work:

Rhymetime for the under 5’s

There will also be a special Shakespeare Fairy Lullaby available to use courtesy of the CBeebies special version of a Midsummer’s Night Dream, that we will be using in our Rhymetimes at Wokingham Library on Wednesday March 16 at 11am and Finchampstead Library on Friday March 18 at 11am. Why not bring your child dressed as a fairy or one of the woodland creatures!

shakespeare poster 2016Shakespeare Theatre Show – Twelfth Night –   Shakespeare show for all the family. This version of the play has been written in rhyme to catch children’s attention, from comic pleads of love to a confusing mix of characters dressing as others, this play is bound to get your children laughing the way Shakespeare intended!  £5 charge. Places must be booked.

Wokingham Library,  Wednesday March 30 at 2pm to 3pm

Woodley Library, Monday April 4 at  2pm to 3pm


Shakespeare Play Reading Morning – Come and enjoy reading aloud from one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies, Twelfth Night.  Wokingham Library Friday April 29 at 10am to 12noon.

There is also a selection of Shakespeare’s plays and texts available to borrow from any Wokingham Borough Libraries. Just search our catalogue: so check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you: