About brendan kelso

Brendan is the main creative source and author behind Playing With Plays and the infamous Shakespeare for Kids series. You can typically find him inventing by day, playing with his family by night, and writing by very late night.

Shakespeare for Kids Art Q&A with the Illustrator

macbeth for kids

Caesar for KidsI’ve received many compliments and questions about my cover artwork over the years, and I thought I would let everyone see behind the curtain as to who is the master of this whimsical art that I’m so lucky to have grace my covers.  I did a short Q&A with him. His name is Ron Leishman, and you can find his work here:

Toonaday.com

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Beautiful Shakespeare Art

Jane TomlinsonI have been so very lucky to meet a wonderful artist who has captured the plays of Shakespeare in a way unique to anything I’ve ever seen. (examples are below) As with Shakespeare, Jane Tomlinson was born and raised in Straford-upon-Avon. “The Bard has always been a towering figure in my life; his influence permeated my childhood,” she says. To mark the 400th anniversary of his … Continue reading

Mugs, mugs, mugs…

So, I have had a number of requests to have my logo with a Shakespeare phrase placed on some swag. So, without any further ado, I present you the Shakespeare mugs. I hope you enjoy them, as much as I do with coffee in them! If there’s one that is missing or something you want to see, please let me know and I’ll look into creating it! I’ll have more products out soon, stay tuned!!!

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HamLion – How Lion King is based off Hamlet

hamlion

I ask kids all the time, “Have you ever seen The Lion King? Then you know the story of Hamlet!” Well, on the most part, yes, but not exactly… I came across this great infographic that showcases the differences and similarities and well … slight differences… like, oh, I don’t know, Elton John singing?  Anyway, I thought you all would enjoy and possibly use this Hamlion graphic!!!

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Sneak Peek at Shakespeare for Kids Books

Many people ask to see a sample of my books.  So, I finally did it… here is the link to see a small excerpt from each and every title that I have.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Sneak Peek at Shakespeare for Kids books

Skype Classroom Visits

skype visit

As many of you know, I visit classrooms and do an engaging, interactive, “Intro to Shakespeare” experience.  However, some locations are a bit too far to get to, for example, Wales, England.  I use that example, as I have recently conducted a Skype call with a group of kids from Wales! Other than having to get up at 5am my time, it was an incredible experience!  All the kids had their questions ready and in-hand and my face was up on the big-screen for all to see!  It was fun, as the questions could be about anything. So, of the 20 … Continue reading

Classroom Visits – Intro to Shakespeare

Shakespeare classroom visit

Over the years, I have done many classroom visits.  It’s such a wonderful experience for me, the kids, and the teacher.  It’s a quick 45-55 minutes visit, that consists of the following:

Shakespeare for Special Needs

I have worked and talked with many teachers that have used my books to help kids with special needs.  As well, I have done many plays with kids with special needs, and the change and awareness that is created during the process is amazing!  Knowing this, I wanted to share an idea that I just received from a teacher.  Here is what she wrote:

I used your Midsummer Night’s Dream for Kids as reading material. I couldn’t get my high school special ed students to reread anything. Their thinking was I have already read that … Continue reading

Monks and Grim Reaper Cape Costume – Simple

So, I recently directed Oliver Twist for Kids and am about to direct A Christmas Carol for Kids. In doing so, I have come across a great costume that is both inexpensive and very effective as a fun kids cape to wear. As you may or may not know, there is a creepy villain, that is constantly referred to as the caped guy, in Oliver Twist named Monks. (Think of the villain from Meet The Robinsons).  As well, there is the fourth ghost in A Christmas Carol that is the Grim Reaper. Both these characters can easily wear the … Continue reading

When in Rome

Caesar for KidsA teacher recently contacted me with a great idea about her Rome curriculum for her elementary kids. They’re taking my Julius Caesar for kids and doing a readers theater in class. No need to memorize, they just read through a few times, then do a simple Roman performance for another class or parents, but they get to have a great Roman experience!  (and … Continue reading