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Kings and Queens of the Bible

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Kings and queens can be kind or cruel, greedy or generous, wise or foolish. Some of the best stories in the Bible are about ancient rulers who became famous for their deeds. From King Solomon’s wisdom to Queen Esther’s bravery, Mary Hoffman skillfully retells seven biblical stories, brought to life by Christina Balit’s vibrant art.

Kids love stories about royalty, and here are some of the most famous kings and queens, together in one gorgeously...

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Overview

Kings and queens can be kind or cruel, greedy or generous, wise or foolish. Some of the best stories in the Bible are about ancient rulers who became famous for their deeds. From King Solomon’s wisdom to Queen Esther’s bravery, Mary Hoffman skillfully retells seven biblical stories, brought to life by Christina Balit’s vibrant art.

Kids love stories about royalty, and here are some of the most famous kings and queens, together in one gorgeously illustrated collection.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
This is a generalized narration of the Biblical stories of Moses, David, Jezebel, and Esther, among others. In spite of the exciting background material, the information is related without emotion and with awkward sentences. In the description of the building of the temple by Solomon, it says: "There were two angels made of olive wood to guard the Ark, and the Holy of Holies was such a sacred place that no one was allowed in it, except, once a year, the high priest." .Jezebel's sad end is told in all its gruesome detail. A note at the back gives the Biblical citations and further information such as: Esther's Jewish name which is "Hadassah." The brightly colored Egyptian-like, stylized illustrations are enchanting. The picture of the Israelites going through the Red Sea shows bubbly curled waves in various shades of green and blue. Moses with streaming wavy hair in many shades of gray leads the fearful people. This book may be redeemed by the illustrations. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

Seven Old Testament tales featuring kings and queens are retold here, representing the cruel (such as Pharaoh and Jezebel) and the kind (such as Solomon and Esther). While the plotlines have been simplified and the telling is clear, some familiarity with the original stories will aid understanding. Readers will be reminded that the Bible can be filled with romance, violence, and death. The offerings do not combine into a single coherent narrative, but do evoke common themes of wealth, wisdom, prophecy, and power. An introduction provides a contextual overview, and endnotes refer to the biblical sources for each selection. The author describes the tales as coming from the "Old Testament," rather than the "Hebrew Bible," revealing a Christian point of view. The flowing, jewel-toned, stylized illustrations appear to support a Eurocentric perspective: each beautiful picture depicts the Middle Eastern and African characters with pale skin and blue-green eyes. This quibble aside, the illustrations do succeed in creating a fairy-tale atmosphere that supports the text's focus on royalty. This is an attractive volume. However, it should be noted that while "adult" material has been expunged from the stories, the violence remains. If, for example, Queen Jezebel being eaten by dogs will upset your young readers, use with caution.-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

Kirkus Reviews

Hoffman, author of the Amazing Grace and Stravaganza series, offers her third entry in her series of Bible story collections with this thematic exploration of the kings and queens of the Old Testament. This smoothly written collection includes short chapters on Moses (along with Pharaoh), King David, King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, Queen Jezebel, King Belshazzar and Queen Esther. Each chapter contains two or three full pages of text along with several full-page, watercolor, ink and pencil illustrations in Balit's striking style, which is heavily influenced by Egyptian art. Her pictures feature glowing highlights of gold and such imaginative touches as King Solomon's bright red hair and beard accented with dots of turquoise. Hoffman makes her stories both interesting and understandable, and she skillfully handles some of the violent aspects without skirting the issues. A concluding page locates the stories within the books of the Old Testament. (Picture book/religion. 6-9)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805088373
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

MARY HOFFMAN is the author of many books for children, including the internationally bestselling Stravaganza series. She lives in Oxfordshire, England.

CHRISTINA BALIT has illustrated a number of children’s books, including Atlantis and Escape from Pompeii. Before becoming a prizewinning illustrator, Ms. Balit studied at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. She lives in Kent, England.

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