Cleopatra

Cleopatra

3.8 5
by Diane Stanley, Peter Vennema
     
 

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Cleopatra's name still glitters across history, evoking opulence, ambition, and tragedy. Raised in the shadow of the mighty Roman Empire, she dared to dream of a world united under Egyptian rule. She almost succeeded, and if she had, we would live in a far different world today.

Cleopatra was not the renowned beauty of legend—her strength lay in her

Overview

Cleopatra's name still glitters across history, evoking opulence, ambition, and tragedy. Raised in the shadow of the mighty Roman Empire, she dared to dream of a world united under Egyptian rule. She almost succeeded, and if she had, we would live in a far different world today.

Cleopatra was not the renowned beauty of legend—her strength lay in her intelligence, courage, and charm, and she would need all three in her short and perilous reign. She became Queen of Egypt at eighteen and by twenty had been driven from her throne. But she raised an army and won the support of the great Julius Caesar, who helped her return to rule. We will never know what these two brilliant and ambitious people might have accomplished together, for Caesar soon fell to Roman assassins. Instead, it was Mark Antony, another famous Roman, who risked everything with Cleopatra in pursuit Of world power.

In this latest of their "distinguished storybook biographies" (New York Times), the authors' meticulous text and Ms. Stanley's majestic illustrations capture the brilliance of Cleopatra's life. From the enchantments of the royal court at Alexandria to luxurious cruises up the legendary Nile, from the intrigues of the Roman marketplace to a desperate sea battle with a shocking end, these award-winning biographers tell the tragic story of one of the most fascinating women of all time.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"This peerless author/artist team makes the captivating... Cleopatra seem astoundingly real," said PW in a starred review. Ages 7-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Striking paintings in ancient Roman style, combined with an accurate and lively text, make this biography of Cleopatra particularly appealing. Although a picture book format is used, the text is longer than most of this genus and the subject matter more suitable to an older age than the usual picture book audience. The authors have done a wonderful job of dispelling myths about Cleopatra and of making a rather complex historical milieu accessible to both young readers and adults. Mosaic borders on each page add to the beauty of the book's design and have become a Stanley trademark. Includes index, bibliography, preface, introduction, epilogue and maps. Publishers Weekly Best Book.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Cleopatra had charm, intelligence, and courage. The impact of these qualities affected both Egyptian and Roman history. This is a picture book biography that deserves special attention. Panoramas of Egyptian and Roman life, vividly depicted, create the atmosphere of the period and give substance to the main characters. Cleopatra hoped to unite the world under Egyptian control but she hadn't counted on falling in love with Caesar and then Mark Antony. Strong-willed and ambitious, she is a tragic figure who teetered on the brink of greatness but is remembered only for her love affairs. How unfortunate that history was written by her enemies.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
This poignant chronicle of the remarkable young Queen of Egypt is another historical thriller from the highly honored husband and wife team of Stanley and Vennema. Dramatic paintings, overflowing with details and contrasts, pull young readers into the kingdoms of Egypt and Rome. The images of Cleopatra, Caesar and Antony were taken from actual coins and statues that remain from that era, one hundred years before the birth of Christ. Maps, bibliography and challenging text blend in this memorable picture book. Readers are held, fascinated, as Cleopatra, more determined than beautiful, rebuilds the Egypt of the Ptolomies one last, glorious time.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-``It is traditionally believed that Cleopatra dazzled Caesar with her great beauty. Instead, it was the power of her intelligence and personality that drew him to her.'' In this lively, well-crafted biography, Stanley and Vennema brush the cobwebs from the popularly held portrait of Cleopatra to reveal a vital, warm, and politically adroit ruler. Lucid writing combines with carefully selected anecdotes, often attributed to the Greek historian Plutarch, to create an engaging narrative. The young queen's marriage to her brother Ptolemy XIII is placed in the context of practices of the rulers of the day. A ``Note on Ancient Sources'' and a map precede the text; an epilogue, pronunciation guide, and a brief bibliography are appended. Stanley's stunning, full-color gouache artwork is arresting in its large, well-composed images executed in flat Greek style. The palette is as rich and sumptuous as the court at Alexandria. Cover art and endpapers simulate period mosaics; the text is set against a faux-tile backdrop that reinforces the book's design and illustration. The figures of Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and Mark Antony stride powerfully across scenes of Egypt and the Roman Empire. Finally, Cleopatra emerges as a savvy, astute, and complex leader who followed both her heart and mind.-Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Carolyn Phelan
Using their distinctive picture book biography format made popular in their volumes on Shaka, Shakespeare, and Dickens, Stanley and Vennema present the life of a legend, Cleopatra. The artwork includes full-page paintings of dramatic scenes as well as impressive painted mosaics that make up the jacket art, title page, and the background for the text. The story concerns Cleopatra's life from the age of 18, when she became the queen of Egypt (51 B.C.), through her liaisons with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and her struggle to bring back Egypt's former glory, to her death at the age of 39. One of the most impressive qualities of this beautiful book is its recognition of the problems of researching and writing history. Not only does a note introduce Plutarch as the main source, but it also discusses why Plutarch's account may not be entirely reliable. Even in the text, the authors point out areas of doubt or inconsistency. Taken simply as a story, the book has a sumptuous setting, heroic characters, name recognition, high drama, and a tragic ending. An intriguing portrait.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688104139
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/1994
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Lexile:
1000L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections, and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work.

Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections, and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work.

Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Cleopatra 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
She was beautiful, and sertainly The best and only last Egyptian Queen. Just the name gives you the ancient feeling, You might get the feeling you are inside an old dusty tomb of golden cofins. You imagine you hear the snakes hissing, and the cats moewing in their prized jewlery of faith.she has many books written about her in your local Library. You can go to Roam or Europe and there you may find muesums with tons of statues of her, including portraits of her and smooth marble sculptures of her head.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a story about Cleopatra's life like any other biography. She was a Egyptian Queen. It was good for a biography but I don't really like biogrphys so I only gave it three stars.