Sonnets By Kids

The cutest Valentine’s Day you could give a loved one!

Doug Miller Books – What do you read, my lord?

In the summer of 2014, we posted an interview with Doug Miller, our beloved local bookmonger.  Since then, he has moved across the street, to 650 Bloor Street West and opened the door to a larger store, which offers a great selection of discounted adult fiction and non-fiction; children’s picture books and novels; as well as many comics.  It’s one of BuzzFeed’s 35 Charming Canadian Bookstores You Need To Visit, and the now not-so-hidden gem of Korea town.

 

Doug Miller and his LEGO desk, which currently boasts 28,482 blocks!

Doug Miller and his LEGO desk, which currently boasts 28,482 blocks!

 

“Business is better than ever,” says Doug.  “Some people did not see us across the street.  I lost count over 400 people welcoming us to the neighbourhood…They were shocked that they didn’t see us.  Now they see us.”  Doug has some theories as to why his store is being noticed more on the north side of the street – it’s sunnier, there’s more retail, and all the subway entrances/exits are on the same side.

 

New $1-$3 section, 8 bookcases long

New $1-$3 section, 8 bookcases long

 

Whatever the reason, the store is bigger and has better lighting, which Doug points out.  “Soon you’ll be able to get wheelchairs down every aisle.  People can bring their carriages in.  It’ll be a lot easier to maneuver around; it will be more comfortable to shop here.”

 

A Shakespeare find in the amongst the advanced picture books!

A Shakespeare find in the amongst the advanced picture books!

Marvel at the Marvel comics!

Marvel at the Marvel comics!

A great store for children's books

A great store for children’s books

 

Doug has seen all kinds of kids in his store.  He recently had a run on Judy Blume books, because she was in Toronto (at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon) and there was a lot of press.  From classics to dystopian worlds, Robert Munsch to Lois Lowry to Louis Sachar, Doug enjoys making recommendations for his young patrons: “What kind of books have you read in the past?” he asks.  And when he finds the perfect book, all he has to say is: “Your parents won’t like this, but you will.” And that usually seals the deal.

 

Bumpkin, the resident rabbit

Bumpkin, the resident rabbit

 

“I’ve had Bumpkin for 13 years,” says Doug.  “I know his habits.  He’s very calm; he’s very relaxed.  There are sometimes when that changes. One night I forgot to put the music on for him, and I came here in the morning – his water bowl was flipped over; he took his food dish and he had obviously whipped it.  There was kibble everywhere.  He didn’t destroy any of the books, but you could tell he was angry ’cause he likes the sound of the music at night and he missed it.”  In case you’re wondering, Bumpkin has a fondness for jazz and CBC Radio.

 

One of the new shelf labels

One of the new shelf labels

 

By this August, Doug Miller will have been working in the book trade for 30 years.  “Books,” he says, “are more popular than ever.  The demand for certain books is always increasing.  Classics are steadily moving out from the store.  People are re-discovering the book in its oldest form – a sold, hand-held, page-turning piece of art.”

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Farewell February; Hello March!

February was a short but busy month for us at Shakespeare in Action, as it marked our 5th annual Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day fundraiser!

Sonnet Kids – Dushane, Ivy, Nicholas, Saskia, and Thomas – all began their journeys in different places – our Summer Camp for Kids and the TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club sessions at Brookbanks, Highland Creek, Main Street, and St. Jamestown public libraries.

We spent time together unpacking sonnets 18, 29, 105, and 116 – discovering rhyme scheme, sorting out characters’ thoughts and feelings, and using the hundred-odd words that the kids recognized to decode the half dozen words that they had never seen before. On Valentine’s Day, they were ready to deliver sonnet-grams to unsuspecting recipients in Canada and the US!

Thank you: To all the parents and guardians for their time and encouragement; to CBC Metro Morning for showcasing this program and helping us reach a new audience; to Pizzaville (College and Roxton), Metro (College and Shaw), and our favourite bookstore, Doug Miller Books (now at 650 Bloor Street West!) for adding the gift of great food and reads to our festivities; and to everyone who purchased a sonnet for a loved one, in support of literacy and live theatre!

A warm thank-you to all the supporters of Sonnets by Kids for Valentine's Day!

A warm thank-you to everyone who supported Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day!

Sonnet Buddy, Kyle and Sonnet Kid, Thomas, prepare for one of the first calls!

Sonnet Buddy, Kyle and Sonnet Kid, Thomas, prepare for one of the first calls!

Ivy delivers a sonnet, while Sonnet Buddy, Anna, looks on.

Ivy delivers a sonnet, while Sonnet Buddy, Anna, looks on.

Sonnet Buddy, Asha, lends a hand as Nicholas signs off on a sonnet.

Sonnet Buddy, Asha, lends a hand as Nicholas signs off on a sonnet.

It's time to give Shakespeare a makeover...or shall we say a Shakeover?!  Looks like the Bard is ready for "the winter of our discontent."

It’s time to give Shakespeare a makeover…or shall we say a Shakeover?! Looks like the Bard is ready for “the winter of our discontent.”

Sonnet Kid, Dushane, with Sonnet Buddy, Jenny!

Sonnet Kid, Dushane, with Sonnet Buddy, Jenny!

Sonnet Kid, Saskia, and Sonnet Buddy, Rebecca smile for the camera.

Sonnet Kid, Saskia, and Sonnet Buddy, Rebecca! And, wait, who’s that in the middle?

Our amazing Sonnet Kids! L-R: Saskia, Nicholas, Thomas, Ivy, and Dushane.

Our amazing Sonnet Kids! L-R: Saskia, Nicholas, Thomas, Ivy, and Dushane.

With the Sonnet Buddies! Back Row, L-R: Rebecca, Asha, Kyle, Anna, and Jenny!

With the Sonnet Buddies! Back Row, L-R: Rebecca, Asha, Kyle, Anna, and Jenny!

8-year-old Ivy's translation of Sonnet 116

8-year-old Ivy’s translation of Sonnet 116

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – A 9-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #105

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SONNET 105

Let not my love be call’d idolatry,

Nor my beloved as an idol show,

Since all alike my songs and praises be

To one, of one, still such, and ever so.

Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,

Still constant in a wondrous excellence;

Therefore my verse to constancy confined,

One thing expressing, leaves out difference.

‘Fair, kind and true’ is all my argument,

‘Fair, kind, and true’ varying to other words;

And in this change is my invention spent,

Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.

‘Fair, kind, and true,’ have often lived alone,

Which three till now never kept seat in one.

 

9-YEAR-OLD’S TRANSLATION

My love for you isn’t worship,

and I won’t be urged to put you on display.

All my songs and praises

are for one person, you and they are all one.

My love will be here today and tomorrow…

You are constant, and so am I.

If I change, I become less constant. That is not my goal.

You can’t find fair, kind and true all in one person,

but you are that person with all three qualities.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – A 9-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #29

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SONNET 29

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries

And look upon myself and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,

Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

 

9-YEAR-OLD’S TRANSLATION

I am a poor person being watched.

Alone, I cry out my feelings

and heaven doesn’t hear me.

When I look at myself, I look away.

I wish for hope, a better face, more friends,

talent, and power.

But when I hate myself,

I happily think about you and my feelings change,

just like a lark singing in the morning.

For the love you bring,

I wouldn’t change places with a king.

 

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – A 10-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #116

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SONNET 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error, and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

10-YEAR-OLD’S TRANSLATION

Never give up on someone you love.

Love is a lighthouse that guides a boat.

Love never dies; it keeps on trucking.

If you think I’m wrong, prove it!

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids – An 8-year-old’s translation of Sonnet #18

valentines-day-heartsSONNET 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often in his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor loose possession of that fair thou ow’st;

Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 

8-YEAR-OLD’S TRANSLATION

You are beautiful and calm,

but your life is too short.

You change.

Everybody changes.

[But] your beauty won’t go away.

Death shall not find you,

because I’m writing this poem.

As long as people live,

this poem gives life to you.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!

For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here!

Sonnets-by-Kids – A Unique Gift for Valentine’s Day!

Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day is celebrating its 5th year!

This Valentine’s Day, why not give the gift of poetry and let the Bard do the talking!

  • Visit http://www.shakespeareinaction.org/sonnets-by-kids.
  • Select and purchase your favourite Shakespeare Sonnet – 18, 29, 105, or 116. (Only $25 CDN)
  • On Valentine’s Day, between 2:30pm and 4:30pm EST, a talented and charming Shakespeare Kid will call your lucky Valentine and recite the sonnet with a heart full of love!
  • A Shakespeare Kid will also sign and mail a personalized copy of the sonnet for your Valentine!

SONNETS BY KIDS are available in Canada and the US until Friday, February 13, 2015 at 5pm EST, while quantities last.

Shakespeare in Action is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to introducing young people to the magic of Shakespeare, language and live theatre. All proceeds support our educational programs throughout Toronto – the kids are “graduates”!

sonnets-by-kids-2011

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2011 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

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– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2012 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

 

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– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2013 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

 

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– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2014 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action