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Children's LiteratureChildren interested in history and in Asia will be pleased with this title. With its colorful and well-chosen illustrations and photographs and readable text, it blends history, geology, anthropology and mythology for a rich introduction to ancient Japan. The slim book is divided into eleven chapters each containing brief paragraphs on various subtopics. For example, the chapter entitled "Language and Learning" discusses writing, poetry, literature and going to school. The focus is mainly on early history, government and warriors but the arts, culture and religion are represented as well. There is little discussion of daily life in ancient Japan, although a careful reader will glean that information from other sections in the book. Richardson keeps much vocabulary in transliterated Japanese giving readers a feel for the language. There is also a glossary for the more difficult English terms. This title, part of the "Peoples of the Ancient World" series, would be a welcome addition to a classroom, school or home library and would be useful in history and cultural studies units. The eye-catching—if a bit busy—pages make the book attractive to children and grown-ups alike. 2005, Crabtree Publishing Company, and Ages 9 to 12.
—Sarah Rachel Egelman