- Age Range: 5 - 9 years
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (September 30, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805088377
- ISBN-13: 978-0805088373
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.4 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,944,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kings and Queens of the Bible Hardcover – September 30, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 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
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Hoffman, author of Animals of the Bible (2003), now offers seven stories featuring various kings and queens from the Old Testament, from perennial heavyweights Moses, David, and Solomon and Esther to the lesser-told figures Balkis, Jezebel, and Belshazzar. Each quick story is told in a conversational tone that is ripe for either reading aloud to young children or drawing more confident readers into the drama, but is slightly at odds with the highly formal artwork. Multiple swaths of brightly colored patterns feature in the two-page spreads, defining different textures of cloth and hair; figures are shown most often in strict profile, gazing stoically off into the distance, an effect that lends to an ancient feel. While the text’s easy style is well-suited to its audience, it also leaves a few serious gaps that will have curious minds seeking out additional sources. To that end, an appendix offers a rundown of those books in the Bible in which each of these figures’ stories are told. Grades K-3. --Ian Chipman
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