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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 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.
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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 Children's 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.
Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.From School Library Journal:
Grade 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
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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