by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema

Cleopatra is another winning picture book biography by Stanley and Venemma. Our goal is to review and (hopefully) include all of their wonderful picture book biographies on this site. They truly are "a peerless author/artist team" (Publ Weekly) Let's hope they create many more magnificent books!

Starting with a reminder that what we know about Cleopatra may be more legend than fact, this title relays the events of Cleopatra's life from age 18 to age 34, portraying her political savvy, her romances, her banishment from Alexandria, and more. "Lucid writing combines with carefully selected anecdotes" (PW) to make this a highly readable biography in which "Cleopatra emerges as a savvy, astute, and complex leader who followed both her heart and mind." (SLJ)

In their review, Publ Weekly said Stanley and Vennema "make a seemingly effortless leap into ancient times, masterfully relating Cleopatra's life story through words and pictures...This peerless author/artist team makes the captivating, ultimately tragic Cleopatra seem astoundingly real."

Reading Stats
Interest Level:  Gr. 3-6          DRA Level: 44
Reading Level:  age 9-12       Lexile Measure: 1000L

Topics Covered
Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs / Rulers (World History)

Awards & Rating
ALA Notable Children's Book 1995
American Bookseller Pick of the Lists 1995

PW, Booklist, and Parenting Mag. Best Book List
People Magazine and USA Today Recommended Book
Library of Congress Recommended Children's Book
Avg Customer Rating:
5 stars (8 reviews)

Peek Inside
Diane Stanley's illustrations are so sumptuous and full of period details that I found myself pouring over them in order to take it all in. Particuarly stunning are the sections made to resemble mosaics (like the cover art or the background to the text area). As usual, it is the small details that make Stanley's illustrations not only breathtaking, but also highly educational.

Below are sample spreads to give you an idea of the illustration style and the amount of text on each spread. As you can see, there is quite a bit of text, but it is appropriate for the intended audience.

Cleopatra by Diane Stanley

Cleopatra by Diane Stanley

Cleopatra by Diane Stanley

More on this book: Share this Page:
Buy nowClick to go to the page for Cleopatra by D.Stanley If you found this helpful, please share
on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest...
Books about Ancient Egypt K-Gr. 4: Books about Ancient Egypt Gr. 6-8:
books about Egyptian life books for ancient egypt lesson plans
If you found this site useful, please:
Sign up for our
to get monthly updates on our latest book finds.
To suggest a book
we should add,
click here