Thursday, September 01, 2011

Isabella of Castile by Shirin Yim Bridges

Isabella of Castile is one of history's most celebrated princesses, but not because she sat on the sidelines during the events of her time period. In fact, Isabella was anything but the typical princess. She was blessed with a desire for learning and an intellect that far surpassed her male counterparts, and she had an independent personality. Rather than let her brother select an appropriate husband for her, Isabella married Ferdinand of Aragon by her own choosing. In her later life, she ruled alongside her husband and became active in the affairs of her country. One of her most famous endeavors was funding Christopher Columbus's journey to America. However, she was not always kind and gentle in her rule of Spain, and killed thousands of people in her efforts to secure total Catholicism. Despite this, Isabella of Castile will always be remembered as the princess who spoke her mind and made her own decisions no matter what the cost.
Isabella of Castile, by Shirin Bridges, is an excellent wealth of information offered in a colorful and engaging setting. Even though I was already familiar with the story of Princess Isabella, I learned many new facts about her that I had not known before, such as the story of her marriage to Ferdinand of Aragon and her brutal assimilation to the Catholic faith. The sections of the picture book that provide general information on the time period are a useful way to fully understand what life was like at the time Isabella lived. This book takes new meaning to the term "picture book," as every page is decorated with a painting, illustration, or photograph of items related to either Isabella or her time period. I plan on passing this book on to many other readers, both young and old, because of the rich detail encased in an easy-to-read children's book.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Bayside, WI USA