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The Discovery of the Americas

The Discovery of the Americas

by Betsy Maestro

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Discusses both hypothetical and historical voyages of discovery to America by the Phoenicians, Saint Brendan of Ireland, the Vikings, and such later European navigators as Columbus, Cabot, and Magellan.


Discusses both hypothetical and historical voyages of discovery to America by the Phoenicians, Saint Brendan of Ireland, the Vikings, and such later European navigators as Columbus, Cabot, and Magellan.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The talented creators of such nonfiction books as The Story of the Statue of Liberty and A More Perfect Union offer a lively picture-book introduction to new world exploration that successfully avoids the traditional Eurocentric approach. Beginning with a brisk explanation of population theories (including early migration from Asia to the Americas over a land bridge), the authors present information on both hunter-gatherer and agrarian societies, and the development and decline of great civilizations such as the Maya, Hopewell and Inca. Readers are introduced to such diverse explorers of the Americas as St. Brendan, Eric the Red, Leif Ericsson, Cabot, Vespucci, Balboa, Magellan and, of course, Columbus. All this is accomplished via the Maestros' characteristic mix of accessible prose complemented by maps and striking watercolor paintings. Also included are useful tables and explanatory notes. As the 500th anniversary of Columbus's famed discovery approaches, this attractive work is an essential resource. Ages 6-10. (May)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Ms. Maestro begins with the nomads who trekked the long-since buried land bridge beneath the Bering Strait. She introduces their now Native American descendants, mentions seafarers who preceded and followed Columbus, and highlights his and Magellan's voyages. Her addenda include an annotated table of noteworthy dates and a brief description of ancient and early American cultures. Let Ms. Maestro's lucid distillation set the stage for the study of New World history. An excellent source for a student drawn time-line, each entry is a possible topic for individual or group research.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-- While this title is self-explanatory, it barely conveys the depth of the book's grand scope. The Maestros begin at the beginning as far as we know it, with the crossing of the Bering Land Bridge over 20,000 years ago. They carefully trace what is known of those Stone Age people, and include little-known points such as the possible visits of Phoenician explorers, Irish monks, Japanese fishermen, as well as the fairly well-documented Viking settlements. Illustrations show striking visual comparisons of ancient artifacts from both the Old and New Worlds, which reveal strong similarities. An appropriate emphasis is given to the thousands of years of human civilizations before Europeans established permanent settlements. The arrival of Columbus takes place almost halfway through the book. Conflicts between explorers who were fiercely ethnocentric and the native people who were often just as fierce in their own defense are treated with trenchant objectivity. Attractive, easy-to-use appendixes give tables of dates, pre-Columbian cultures, European explorers, and other facts. Giulio Maestro has achieved a happy mingling of artistic maps that include clear, descriptive diagrams of voyages and land routes, balanced with beautiful interpretations of broad landscapes in luscious colors of sky, cloud, sea, mountain, and forest. The dazzlingly clean and accurate prose and the exhilarating beauty of the pictures combine for an extraordinary achievement in both history and art. --Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX

Product Details

Harpercollins Childrens Books
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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