Children's Literature - Gisela JerniganThis volume from the "Living History" series combines many full color drawings and photographs with a brief but informative text to bring this fascinating period of history to life for young readers. The 29 short chapters cover a wide variety of topics, including Renaissance Women, Violence and Intrigue, and Religious Upheaval. Naturally, the arts are emphasized, and da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael have their own chapters. Religious and social controversies are presented in a balanced way. The dramatic photographs, which are re-enactments of scenes from the past, are an especially effective way to bring vitality to the subject. An index, map and timeline are included.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7-9-A look at the rich tapestry of the Renaissance in Italy. Humanism, perspective in painting, architecture, sculpture, books and printing, war and violence, Leonardo da Vinci, music, women's roles-the many topics follow one another in rapid succession. Each is presented on a double-page spread filled with text, full-color photographs and reproductions, detailed captions, and sidebars. While the abundance of subjects touched on suggests the period's wealth of culture and history, it also threatens to overwhelm readers. Names and dates occur in profusion. The crowded pages and the mixture of carefully posed scenes featuring actors as well as artifacts and artworks from the past make the book difficult to use for reports and potentially confusing for readers without some background knowledge. The volume has the dramatic air and ambiance of a theatrical production-it is visually fascinating-and perhaps browsers will be intrigued enough to research specific topics in greater depth elsewhere.-Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
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