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Reviewed by Rebecca S Winner for Readers' Favorite
Billy Shakespeare by Cathy McGough is the story of how a mouse can become an actor in a human theater. Three generations of the mouse family live under the theater, so Billy sneaks upstairs and watches the plays from under a seat. He likes Shakespeare's Hamlet so much that he has a Hamlet costume and a sword and has memorized the lines. Billy's friend Jamie is a human boy but can shrink himself to Billy's size and also watches from under the seat. Then the announcement that the performance is canceled because the main actor is sick causes Jamie to grow to full size. He hurries to tell the director about Billy. When the director asks where Billy is, Jamie shouts, “He's under the chair!” This is the beginning of Billy's career as an actor, but he is always friends with Jamie.
I thoroughly enjoyed the picture book Billy Shakespeare by Cathy McGough. I loved the mixture of colorful illustrations and actual photos. I thought the mouse family was cute and I enjoyed getting to know the main character, Billy, who was a likable mouse. I especially liked the friendship between Billy and his human friend Jamie. It is nice to see a book meant for children that explains what the theater is like. I enjoyed the rhyming which I like to see in kids' books. I believe that children would enjoy this story about friendship, ambition, and realizing your dreams.