Gr 3-6-This straightforward look at China has much to recommend it despite the fact that the series title is misleading. Ancient China generally refers to the time frame from prehistory through the Zhou dynasty, and this book focuses on three later dynasties from the Imperial period. Brief historical overviews of the Song, the Yuan, and the Ming dynasties are followed by a look at daily life, culture, and inventions. Interesting topics are marred in places by a lack of specific dates when the period covered in the text is close to 700 years. Well designed and attractive, the book has excellent-quality, full-color photographs and a clear map showing ancient China (or more correctly, China through the Ming dynasty) and modern China. A few good reproductions of art appear but lack documentation as to the artist and period. Unfortunately, no list for further reading is included. In fact, no sources at all are given for any of the material. Some minor problems in the text might mislead readers. For example, the statement, "There were four main social classes-," is followed by a listing of five social classes, and in another place the author writes, "Chinese students used an abacus to count," without any acknowledgment of the role of the abacus in the society as a whole. Yet despite its drawbacks, the book delivers a good deal of accurate information in a way that is accessible to a wide range of students.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.