Biography & History

Mozart: The Wonder Child
A Puppet Play in Three Acts

by Diane Stanley

HarperCollins Publishers

Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart was only three years old—not much bigger than his name—on the day that his life changed forever.

So begins this vivid biography of one of history’s most remarkable prodigies. At the age of six, Wolfgang became the toast of Europe, traveling widely, composing music, and performing for kings and princes. His adult life, turbulent and tragically brief, fulfilled his early promise. In those few, short years the former wonder child wrote his masterpieces, some of the greatest and most beloved music of all time.

Presented as a marionette production, and including music young readers can play, this is a wonderful introduction to the life of one of history’s most remarkable musicians.

Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam

by Diane Stanley

HarperTrophy

Forty years before the boy was born, a horde of bloodthirsty barbarians thundered out of the west and conquered his native land. He would grow up to become a great leader, a man with the courage and wisdom to unite his warring people and lead them in battle against the greatest warrior of the age. The time was the twelfth century; the barbarian horde was the armies of the First Crusade; the great warrior was Richard the Lionheart; and the leader was Saladin. This is more than the other side to the story of the Crusades. It is the tale of an extraordinary man, remarkable for his generous and chivalrous ways, a warrior who longed for peace.

Recognition & Awards

American Library Association Notable Book; IRA, Notable Books for a Global Society; Publishers Weekly, Best Children’s Books; Booklist, Best Books; Booklinks, Best Books of the Year; Parents’ Choice, Recommended Award; Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children; Nominee for the Maine Student Book Award; Starred Reviews, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly.

Michelangelo

by Diane Stanley

HarperCollins Publishers

He was humorless, lonely, quarrelsome, perfectionistic and pious—and in an age of great artists, probably the greatest of them all. He created masterpieces in all three of the great arts: sculpture, painting, and architecture. Taken into the household of the great Lorenzo de’ Medici as a boy, he went on to serve—and argue with—four different popes during a tumultuous career that lasted more than sixty years.

Recognition & Awards

Orbis Pictus Honor Book, NCTE; School Library Journal Best Books; Booklist Editor’s Choice; Booklist Top Ten Youth Art Books; Booklinks Lasting Connections; Association of Booksellers for Children, Booksellers’ Choices; Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies; Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children; Voice of Youth Advocates, Nonfiction.
Leonardo Da Vinci

by Diane Stanley

HarperCollins Publishers

He was original “Renaissance man,” a revolutionary artist, the father of modern science, and a remarkable inventor who dreamed of being the first man to fly. He designed everything from a submarine, a tank, and a helicopter to an air-conditioning system and a self-closing toilet lid. In one of history’s more bizarre twists of fate, his illegitimate birth prevented him from following his father in the family profession as a notary—and so he became an artist instead! The pictures in the book incorporate Leonardo’s actual drawings and paintings within the framework of the fascinating life of this great genius.

Recognition & Awards

Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, NCTE; Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Honor Book for Non-Fiction; ALA Notable Book; Publisher’s Weekly Best Books; School Library Journal Best Books; Booklist Editor’s Choice; BCCB Blue Ribbon Titles; Parenting Magazine Best Books; Boston Globe Best Books; ParentDish Top 100 Books for Gradeschoolers; nominee for the Texas Bluebonnet Award, the Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award, the Maine Student Book Award, the Kansas William Allen White Children’s Book Award, the New Mexico Land of Enchantment Book Award; starred Reviews, School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, BCCB.

Joan of Arc

by Diane Stanley

HarperCollins Publishers

She was a child of wartime; for a hundred years her country had suffered under the twin horrors of invasion and civil war.  At thirteen she began to hear the voices of saints, commanding her to leave her village, take up arms, and go to the aid of the young prince of France.  At seventeen she answered that call.  Dressed in armor, carrying the miraculous sword of Fierbois, she inspired the French army and turned the tide of war.  When at last she escorted the timid dauphin Charles to to Reims, and stood by his side as she was crowned king, Joan was proclaimed the savior of France.  But by nineteen she was dead—burned at the stake as a heretic.  Almost five hundred years later she was declared a saint.

This dramatic story is illustrated in the style of the illuminated manuscripts of the late Middle Ages.

Recognition & Awards

ALA Notable Book; Publisher’s Weekly Best Books; Booklist Top of the List, Editor’s Choice; BCCB Blue Ribbon Titles; Parenting Magazine Best Books; IRA Teachers’ Choice; Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies; Children’s Booksellers’ Choice; finalist, Riverbank Review Children’s Books of Distinction Award; nominee for the Maine Student Book Award and the South Carolina Book Award; starred reviews, Horn Book, School Library Journal, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly.

Cleopatra

by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema, Illustrated by Diane Stanley

HarperCollins Publishers

This is the dramatic story of the famous last Queen of Egypt. Though not the renowned beauty of legend, Cleopatra was brilliant, courageous, and bold. She won the hearts of two of the towering figures of her age, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and risked everything in her pursuit of world power. Set against the lavish backdrop of the Egyptian court at Alexandria and the dramatic final days of the Roman republic, Cleopatra’s world is brought richly to life in this beautifully illustrated book.

Recognition & Awards

ALA Notable Book; Booklist Editor’s Choice; Publisher’s Weekly Best Books; American Bookseller Pick of the Lists; Parenting Magazine Best Books; People Magazine Recommended Books for Young Readers; USA Today Recommended Books; Chicago Tribune Best Books; Library of Congress Children’s Literature center, Recommended Books; nominee for the Pennsylvania Young Reader Award and the Garden State Children’s Book Award; starred Reviews, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly.

Charles Dickens: The Man Who Had Great Expectations

by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema, Illustrated by Diane Stanley

HarperCollins Publishers

He was only twelve when his father was arrested for debt and Charles was sent to work in a blacking factory. Though he would later go on to earn wealth and fame as a best-selling author and international literary superstar, he never forgot the ragged child he once was. Unlike other authors of the time, he wrote most touchingly about the lives of the poor— and through him the world came to have sympathy for their suffering, and things began to change.

Recognition & Awards

Time Magazine Recommended Children’s Books for Christmas; American Bookseller Pick of the Lists; Parenting Magazine Best Books; Association of Booksellers for Children Best Books; Southern California Children’s Booksellers Association, Children’s Booksellers’ Choices; National Christian Schools Association, Children’s Crown Award nominee; starred reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus.

Bard of Avon: The story of William Shakespeare

by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema, Illustrated by Diane Stanley

HarperCollins Publishers

This award-winning picture book biography expands the few documented facts on Shakespeare’s life and wraps them in colorful information from the Elizabethan Era, the moment when theater was reborn in the Western world. Well researched, this recounting is rich with fascinating details on Elizabethan theater. Shakespeare’s world is brought to life in the full-color illustrations.

Recognition & Awards

Booklist Top Of The List, Youth Non-Fiction; ALA Notable Book; Horn Book Fanfare Books; Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Award, Ten Best Books; School Library Journal Best Books; New York Times The Best of the Children’s Picture Books; Booklist Editor’s Choice; Publisher’s Weekly 50 Best Books; Horn Book 25 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year; Nominee for the Orbis Pictus Award, NCTE; nominee for the Texas Bluebonnet Award, the Maine Student Book Award, the Kansas William Allen White Children’s Book Award; starred reviews, Horn Book, School Library Journal, and Publisher’s Weekly.

The Last Princess: The Story of Ka’iulani of Hawai’i

by Fay Stanley, Illustrated by Diane Stanley

HarperCollins Publishers

This bittersweet story of Princess Ka’iulani, Hawaii’s last heir to the throne, is a fascinating (and little known) piece of American history.   It begins like the happiest of fairy tales and ends in tragedy.  From the day of her birth, Princess Ka’iulani was expected to become queen of her ancient island kingdom.  But though she would spend tireless years preparing for her royal duties and tried courageously to prevent her country from being annexed by the United States, even traveling to Washington to beg justice from President Grover Cleveland, in the end she lost her country and her throne.

Recognition & Awards

ALA Notable Book; National Council for the Social Studies, Carter G. Woodson Award; Booklist Editor’s Choice; IRA-CBC Children’s Choices; Parents’ Magazine Best Kids Books; Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies; Hawaii State Library, Top Choice in the Picture Book Category; nominee for the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award, the Virginia Young Readers Program, and Oklahoma’s Sequoyah Children’s Book Award; starred reviews, School Library Journal, Booklist.

Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England

by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema, Illustrated by Diane Stanley

HarperCollins Publishers

The unwanted daughter of England’s famous King Henry VIII, Elizabeth grew up in a time of turmoil and religious strife. Though Henry went to extremes—including six marriages and a break with the Catholic Church—to make sure he had a son to rule after him, it was Elizabeth who would steer England through the stormy years ahead and bring her country into a glorious era of peace.  She lived in a time of great men, yet historians call it the “Elizabethan Age” after this remarkable queen who loved her people so dearly and ruled them so well.

Recognition & Awards

ALA Notable Book; Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Honor Book; IRA Teacher’s Choices; Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Award, Ten Best Books; Parents’ Magazine Best Kids Books; American Bookseller Pick of the Lists; Booklist Editor’s Choice; Upper Midwest Booksellers’ Choice; Notable Children’s Books in the Field of Social Studies; Library of Congress Recommended Books For Children; Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee, the Alabama Emphasis on Reading Award, Kentucky Bluegrass Award, Kansas William Allen White Award; starred reviews, Booklist, Horn Book.

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