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Peter the Great Hardcover – August 25, 1999
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4 This profusely illustrated biography has a moderate amount of good-sized text and at least one illustration on every two-page spread. Stanley's fine illustrations of Tsar Peter and his Russia are vivid and uncluttered, yet still give a sense of the ornate formality of the royal surroundings and attire. That Stanley concentrates on the extraordinary achievements of Peter the Great is not surprising, but the omission of some basic biographical data is a problem. Peter's ascent to the throne is presented as without difficulty, when it was actually a struggle for power among Peter, his half-brother Ivan, and his half-sister Sophia. The bitter upheavals caused by Peter's attempt to reform the church and limit its influence is reduced to the Tsar taxing long beards at court; his desire to establish Russia as a seapower is based on a pleasant sailing experience, instead of the military defeat at Azov that made Peter acknowledge his nation's lack of adequate sea vessels and ports. Peter's accomplishments are highlighted, while the measures he took to achieve such sweeping reforms are given scant attention. IncidentsPeter's childhood, his love of sailing, traveling across Europe in disguiseare described in an effort to make this complex historical figure accessible to the primary/middle grade age group, and in this Stanley is successful. A more balanced portrayalwith Peter the Great as less a saint of progress and more the ambitious ruleris yet to come. Janice M. Del Negro, Chicago Public Library
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
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 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. Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work.
Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a 1986 book by Diane Stanley, and I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Like all her books, this one is magnificently illustrated in the style of the time and place -- breathtaking illustrations on every page are more than worthwhile.
However, it is this kind of reading of Peter the Great forcibly modernizing a backward and reluctant traditional people that led to Lenin, Dzerzhinsky, Stalin... and Putin.
Don't give a boost to history's bad guys by telling them people are incapable of self-rule.
BTW, he has also read a couple of her other books and enjoys them all. I asked if he would be interested in whatever else Diane Stanley has published and he expressed great eagerness.