Review Blog

Jun 29 2015

Hard nuts of history: Kings and queens by Tracey Turner

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Ill. by Jamie Lenman. Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781472910929
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Non fiction, History, Kings and queens
The fourth in the series of books about the hard nuts, those people in history who have made an impact, who have been adventurous, sees the author focussing on the kings and queens in the past. Many names are familiar and some quite well known, but most are of people who will fascinate and intrigue as a brief outline is given to describe each.
So we have a double page spread devoted to the known: Henry v111, Elizabeth the first, Montezuma, but these are mixed with people such as Murad 1V, Suleiman the magnificent and Queen Tamar of Georgia. Each person has several paragraphs outlining their lives and impact, while nutty pictures are added to illustrate the information. Other people are given just a paragraph in a double page of a group of people, such as warriors which contains a kernel (sorry) about Charlemagne and Boudica, Mary 1, Richard 1 and Edward 1, are grouped together in a double page entitled, More hard nuts of British history. Readers will laugh out loud at the way the information is presented, and develop a brief understanding of who these people were and what they did to be remembered.
In the middle of the book is a quiz which will also entrance the readers, and the last few pages offer a timeline, glossary and index. The timeline puts all the people in the book in chronological order which helps the reader place them in history.
A most interesting addition to this series, readers will love this expose of some odd kings and queens from history.
Fran Knight

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