Queen Elizabeth II by Brenda & Brian Williams

  • Title: DK Life Series: Queen Elizabeth II
  • Publisher: DK Penguin Random House
  • Estimated Publication Date: October 20, 2020
  • Grade Level: 2-5
  • Reading Level: 7-10 years
  • Lexile: Unknown

Note: I received an early release copy of this title from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Any images, quotes, information I share are from an unedited copy.


Let me tell you, I have read a lot of biographies, auto-biographies, and memoirs on royalty. My main focus has been Queen Victoria, her descendants, and historic & current royalty from all over the world. I have not limited my search of information on the topic having read books for kids, teens, and adults books on the subject. Add to the reading, binging every documentary on monarch history. I just find it fascinating. With that in mind, I went into this read expecting to just see how the book was designed for children and review a few facts. Imagine my surprise at actually learning A LOT about Queen Elizabeth that I had never even known! Yes, this book is written for youth, but it still exceptionally comprehensive.

The biography shares a huge period of time, as it covers the story of Queen Elizabeth’s life from birth to today. Considering that the Queen is currently 94 years old, readers are getting nearly a full century of history, The book begins with a letter to readers that shares some quick facts about Queen Elizabeth (she is the longest reigning monarch; she was never supposed to be queen; she grew up during World War II; she dedicated her life to service). I especially like that this letter also explains the role of Queen Elizabeth in a government where she does not actually have any power. That is a really confusing concept that most adults do not fully understanding. Especially those of us in the States. Meanwhile, this note is sure to catch reader’s interest and keep them reading.

The art here is gorgeous. It is filled with several photographs combined with adorable cartoon/comic like images in a soft, pastel pallet. Honestly, this book is just so visually appealing. Throughout the book terms and ideas are defined and detailed. For example, on page 11 “Caesarean section” is defined, and on page 13 the event of a General Strike is described. Further, small images of with quick facts abound throughout. There are even pages reminiscent of a comic splash page to highlight or accentuate quotes, etc. Readers will meet many historical figures along with Queen of Elizabeth while reading, as history-makers and leaders are often described and pictured. Other features include: Quiz with answers in the back, index, glossary (which is exhaustive and illustrated), a Who’s Who (which we need when it comes to royalty), beautifully illustrated timeline, and family tree- also illustrated.

To learn more about this title check out this link.

Sources: Table of Contents (p. 2-3), The Grand Wedding (p.54-55) , General Strike “Spalsh-like” page (p.13)


I would recommend this book to students working on research, it would be a remarkable source for reports! I also recommend this book to any young people interested in history, fairy tales and princesses. Finally, with the popularity of the Netflix series, The Crown, I believe the would be an awesome family read! Parents who enjoyed the Netflix series would love reading this with their children.

Further Resources

The Queen’s Own YouTube Channel
  • Find the Queen on Facebook here
  • Find the Queen on Twitter here
  • Find the Queen on Instagram here


DK Life Series: Queen Elizabeth II is on order at the Frankfort Community Library and will be available for check out soon! In the meantime check out these books about other important historical figures:

  • DK Life Series: Martin Luther King Jr– From Goodreads, “IN this biography, discover the amazing story of Martin Luther King Jr, whose powerful words and dreams for the future inspired the world.
  • DK Life Series: Alexander Hamilton– From Goodreads, “In this kids’ biography, discover the amazing life story of Alexander Hamilton, Found Father of the United States who work as an American statesman and strong personality made him an icon of history and popular culture.”

One thought on “Queen Elizabeth II by Brenda & Brian Williams

  1. Rachel – I’m a huge fan of DK books – it’s a visual treat to look at their pages. They always have such a great combination of text and images that really keep readers’ attention. I watched the little cartoon video that you included in this blog post and one of the facts they mentioned was about Queen Elizabeth having to save ration coupons to purchase the material for her wedding dress. I read a book over the summer called The Gown by Jennifer Robson. It’s all about the dressmaking shop that creates Elizabeth’s wedding dress. While I don’t specifically remember them saying anything about saving ration coupons, the book was fascinating. It was told from the perspective of one of the embroiderers who worked under Norman Hartnell in his dressmaking shop. It was so interesting to read how the workers were sworn to secrecy about the design, and how they sewed every single pearl and bead on the dress by hand. Thanks for sharing about this book – I will check it out!


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