Gladiators

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Overview

Reimagine ancient feats of courage and strength — and relive gladiators’ triumph and despair — with this extraordinary set.

Unfold a spectacular model of the world’s most awe-inspiring amphitheater — the Colosseum — and enter an ancient world where, for three hundred years, gladiators pitted their strength and skill against one another. This exciting set includes:
— A ...

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Overview

Reimagine ancient feats of courage and strength — and relive gladiators’ triumph and despair — with this extraordinary set.

Unfold a spectacular model of the world’s most awe-inspiring amphitheater — the Colosseum — and enter an ancient world where, for three hundred years, gladiators pitted their strength and skill against one another. This exciting set includes:
— A sophisticated pop-up scale model of the Colosseum
— A forty-page book describing a day at the games — for both a Roman citizen and a slave
— Eight gladiator cards identifying weapons and fighting styles
— A map of the streets and buildings of ancient Rome
— A diagram of the Colosseum and its underground tunnels
— Game pieces and rules for playing the ancient Roman game of tabula

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Eleanor Heldrich
Contrary to its appearance, this is not a book at all; it is a collection of objects packaged together to look as if it were a ten by eleven and a half inch hardback book. The front cover opens to the left, and a second cover inside opens to the right. At this point everything is so unwieldy that it must be placed on an empty table or the floor. Following directions, two half-covers should be pulled together on the right side to create a large floppy pop-up of the Roman Colosseum, which will then be standing alone on one-third of an area that is thirty-three inches long by eleven and a half wide. On the far left, in a pocket on the inside of the front cover, is a set of trading cards and a game called Tabula, which is to be played on the inside of the package after the contents of the pocket have been removed. There is also a folded sheet of paper with a map of ancient Rome on one side and an illustrated cross-section of the inside of the Colosseum on the other, and a forty-page paperback book titled "Gladiator." The book, clearly the most important object in the entire kit, deserves better treatment than this. The quality of the writing and the illustrations are worthy of a hardcover book that could stand on its own. The story, subtitled "A Day at the Roman Games" involves two young boys. One is a captured slave, and the other is the son of a Roman senator. The two experience life at the time of the Roman Games in vastly different ways. Marcus, the slave, works in the underground tunnels where animals and men wait for the opportunity to save their own lives by killing others, while Lucius, a boy of privilege, looks forward to enjoying his first time at the Games. The book details the violence and brutality of games played to the death for the entertainment of spectators. Could a hardback book of this barbarity have been successful? A comic book, now called a graphic novel, would have been more compatible with the packaging and the theme. Reviewer: Eleanor Heldrich
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Marcus is a slave to a beast master who provides animals and gladiators for entertainment in ancient Rome. Lucius is the son of a senator. Both boys are going to the Colosseum for the first time. Through their eyes, readers are able to experience the games from two different perspectives: Lucius as a spectator who saves an elephant and Marcus as participant hoping that his adopted father survives the games and is granted freedom by the emperor. Though the ending is a bit contrived, the text and realistic color illustrations do not hold back in showing how gruesome and bloody the Games were. Sidebars and insets contain historical facts and are accurate except for some confusion with the time periods between the Republic and Empire. Additionally, this slim volume is part of a bigger kit that includes a three-dimensional pop-up of the Colosseum, a map of Rome and the arena, and pieces for the game Tabula, which was played in ancient Rome. A great idea for getting kids interested in history and perfect for individual purchase or displays, but not a practical item for library circulation.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763644444
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Toby Forward is the author of SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE: AN INTERACTIVE POP-UP THEATRE. He lives in England.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    ENGROSSING PLAY AND A LEARNING EXPERIENCE

    Along with most other things in our fast spinning world pop-up books have taken so many giant leaps forward that they almost merit a different name, such as a name that encompasses not only pop-ups but everything found in this king size return to ancient Rome, Gladiators.

    First, there is a 40 page book covering a day at what was then called a game for both spectators and gladiators. What is surely the world's most eye-popping amphitheater, Rome's Colosseum, unfolds into a spectacular model, and is accompanied by a printed layout allowing us to explore not only the structure but the maze of tunnels running beneath it. Also included is a street map of ancient Rome, Gladiator trading cards, and a favorite Roman game, Tabula.

    The cover holding all of these intriguing items measures 10" by 12", and is sturdily bound. Geared for ages 7 and up Gladiators is not only engrossing fun but a learning experience as well.

    Steve Noon's illustrations are colorfully lifelike returning us to a time gone by when combatants fought one another in an amphitheater that held 50,000 people who were seated by rank, social class, and gender. Kudos to David Hawcock for amazing paper engineering.

    - Gail Cooke

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