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Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England (1990)

by Diane Stanley, Peter Vennema

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1,0221219,790 (4.09)None
Follows the life of the strong-willed queen who ruled England in the time of Shakespeare and the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This biography of Queen Elizabeth is a very inspiring story! It could even be considered a book highlighting feminism! Queen Elizabeth waited very patiently for the throne. After her father had two daughters, he remarried in hopes to have a son who could be his heir to the throne. After his passing, along with the passing of her dreadful sister Mary, Elizabeth became queen. She sought to keep her kingdom away from France and Spain's control. At age 29, she was still unmarried and caught smallpox. Everyone feared that she would pass away and leave her country with so successor. Mary's cousin soon conspired against her with the king of France, Elizabeth's ex-brother-in-law. After finding that Mary had many other conspiring against the queen, she and all of the others were executed. After reigning for 45 years, Queen Elizabeth died at age 70, and Mary's son James VI took her place. She loved her people dearly. ( )
  syd_neylol | Jan 24, 2018 |
Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England tells the life story of Elizabeth I. Beginning with the circumstances and events leading to her birth to Henry VIII and Anne of Boleyn, the book follows her journey to becoming queen of England. It tells readers of how she was very strategic in interacting with her councilors as well as foreign diplomats. It also narrates her struggles in trying to find a husband and her difficulty in being able to maintain trust with friends as many people plotted to overthrow her. It tells the story of her accomplishments such as defeating the Spanish Armada which led to peace and security for the establishment of cultural development. The book ends with her death and describes the respect she had by those who knew her--even her enemies.

This is a good biography because it provides a lot of accurate information from before her birth to after her death. It contains some direct quotes, but also cites the sources the author used to increase credibility. However, rather than presenting a balanced individual, the book does paint Elizabeth I in a very positive and skewed light.

GENRE: Biographical

- introduce a study on the English monarchy or the Elizabethan Age
- have students construct a graphic organizer such as a timeline to organize and study sequence of events
  sso14 | Mar 14, 2016 |
I was completely captivated when I read “Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England”. I feel that the book provides just enough detail of Queen Elizabeth’s life without being too dense or confusing for children to understand. The authors provide a note at the beginning of the book which gives a brief explanation of the Protestant Reformation. I appreciate that the authors didn’t just assume that readers would already have this background knowledge. Additionally, I think that the illustrations match up smoothly with the text and give readers a visual sense of what life was like during Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The illustrated portraits of King Henry VIII’s six wives and the portraits of Queen Elizabeth’s potential husbands help the reader visualize key players in the time period. “Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England” provides a well-written story of a “queen who won the hearts of her people and the admiration of her enemies”. ( )
  TBurley | Feb 21, 2016 |
Wife-and-husband team Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema - whose other picture-book biographies include Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens: The Man Who Had Great Expectations - here tell the story of England's Queen Elizabeth I, for whom the 'Elizabethan Age' was named. From her father, King Henry VIII, and his pursuit (through six wives) of a son, to Elizabeth's own girlhood, her accession to the throne, and her long reign, Good Queen Bess covers the major events and ideas of its subject's life and times, introducing complex topics - religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics, issues of succession - in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way.

Although an excellent biography for young readers, I do have to agree with those who have said that this is not - despite being a picture-book - a title that would be appropriate for very young children. It's too text heavy for that, with concepts that are a little too involved, and would be better aimed at children who are independent readers. Those children for whom it is well suited, however, are really in for a treat! With a fascinating topic, and gorgeous goauche illustrations (I really prefer the cover of the edition I read, with its decorative border, to the reissued edition, which simply has Elizabeth's face on a deep maroon background), Good Queen Bess is simply a fabulous children's biography! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 12, 2013 |
This is a well done introduction to England's Queen Elizabeth I. I would, however, take objection to the text saying that Elizabeth's reign didn't have the religious bloodshed that Queen Mary I's reign did. Mary was far more violent towards Protestants, but Elizabeth wasn't completely tolerant of Catholics, as I feel the book tries to portray. ( )
  Mols1 | Jan 27, 2013 |
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Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1990)
Appropriately for their audience, the authors only hint at the darker side of Elizabeth's reign. They include a simplified but accurate explanation of the English Reformation and its immediate consequences; a discussion of the Queen's political astuteness, its roots in her troubled childhood, and how she made being a woman an asset; a fair account of her vexed dealings with Mary, Queen of Scots; and illuminating details of interest to children--such as summers "on progress," when Elizabeth escaped the plague and "stopped in little villages. . .received humble gifts. . .and won the hearts of her people." As in the authors' Peter the Great (1986), Stanley's carefully researched, beautifully detailed illustrations take up even more space than the text. Combining 20th-century realism with the decorative, more formal style of 16th-century painting, they add both drama and a visual sense of history. An admirably clear, attractive summary. Bibliography. 1990, Four Winds/Macmillan, $15.95. © 1990 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

added by kthomp25 | editKirkus (Apr 16, 1990)
Jan Lieberman (Children's Literature)
Author/illustrator Diane Stanley and her husband, Peter Vennema charmed us with Peter the Great and now they have brilliantly brought to life Elizabeth I of England. In a mere 40 pages the reader learns of Henry VIII and his wives, his falling out with the Pope, the birth of Elizabeth, her rise to power, the pageantry of her Court, and her astute political savvy. Ms Stanley's illustrations depict the grandeur of the Court and the magnificence of the Queen's costumes. 1990, Four Winds/S&S Childrens, $16.95. Ages 9 to 11.
added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Jan Lieberman (Apr 16, 1990)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diane Stanleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vennema, Petermain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Follows the life of the strong-willed queen who ruled England in the time of Shakespeare and the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

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