Life in Ancient China is a life unknown to most of us. This book, part of the "Peoples of the Ancient World" series, has short tidbits about many parts of China's exotic past, along with numerous illustrations and photos. We dip into the Land of Dragons, visit the Middle Kingdom and meet the Sons of Heaven. We learn when paper was invented, and fireworks. Each topic has its own chapter and most chapters are two pages. The book includes a history of the Great Wallit was first made out of woodand explains how the Chinese dynasties changed. However, there is actually very little explanation of the daily life of the vast majority of the ancient Chinesealthough food distribution in various societal classes is discussed. As part of a series, it would be nice to be able to compare peasants and nobles across cultures. The book is a useful reference but not likely to be used widely for casual reading. Back matter includes a glossary and an index. 2005, Crabtree Publishing World, Ages 8 to 12.
Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Each text provides background on the history, geography, rulers, people, life, arts, culture, and eventual fate of each civilization. However, the chapter titles do not always provide enough clues as to the complete scope of the section. The subheadings that divide the material into short, manageable segments are more helpful. Readers may need to skim each chapter spread, noting the subheading, to locate needed information. The pages are full of colorful photographs, illustrations, time lines, artwork, and diagrams complete with well-written captions. The texts offer more information than textbooks, but still do not delve deeply enough into each civilization to provide information for more than a simple report. However, the visual artifacts from each civilization are sure to interest students. None of the books includes a bibliography. The same information can be found in Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, and Aztec, Inca, and Maya (all DK, 2000) in the "Eyewitness" series.-Anne L. Tormohlen, Deerfield Elementary School, Lawrence, KS Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.