Diane Stanley

1943 -

Diane Stanley is the recipient of the 2000 Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for the body of her work. "There is no one like Diane Stanley... for picture-book biography—she brings to the genre an uncanny ability to clarify and compress dense and tricky historical matter, scrupulous attention to visual and verbal nuances, and a self-fulfilling faith in her readers' intelligence" (Publishers Weekly). 

Diane Stanley and her husband, Peter Vennema, have worked together on other books in Diane's award-winning biography series, including Shaka: King of the Zulus, Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens: The Man Who Had Great Expectations.

Diane has also illustrated The Last Princess: The Story of Princess Ka'iulani of Hawai'i, by Fay Stanley, and she has written and illustrated Michelangelo, Peter the Great, Joan of Arc, Leonardo Da Vinci, Cleopatra, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter.  Her first novel, A Time Apart, was selected as one of 1999's Top 10 First Novels by ALA Booklist.

Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema live in Houston, Texas.

From the dust jacket of the reprint of Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England
In the Author's Own Words

I took my first real art class when I was a senior in college.

At the end of the semester, just as I was about to graduate, the teacher called me into his office.

He said I was the only student in the class who wasn’t an art major and he was giving me the only A.

He told me I had talent. That class and that teacher changed my life.


Before becoming an author, I worked as a medical illustrator.

And before that, I wrapped Christmas packages at a department store,

swept floors and cleaned brushes in a hair salon, wrote ad copy for a local radio station,

worked as a graphic designer, and was the art director

in the children’s book department of a major publishing house.

~from Diane Stanley's website