—School Library Journal
The Mysteries of Angkor Watby Richard Sobol
In 1100 CE, the mighty Khmer people of Cambodia built the world's largest religious monument: the sprawling stone temple of Angkor Wat. Now, thousands visit the crumbling ruins each year to see the last/b>
What mysteries hide inside this ancient Cambodian temple? When local children lead the author through the ruins, he discovers a little-known secret.
In 1100 CE, the mighty Khmer people of Cambodia built the world's largest religious monument: the sprawling stone temple of Angkor Wat. Now, thousands visit the crumbling ruins each year to see the last remains of the ancient and mysterious Khmer civilization. Photographer Richard Sobol explored these fascinating ruins, searching among the fallen, moss-covered stone slabs and wall carvings for clues that might link the ancient Khmer people to present-day Cambodian culture. A personal narrative and illustrative photography document his pilgrimage, capturing the historical legacy and mystery contained within the walls of Angkor Wat. A glossary, maps, and key facts are included.
—School Library Journal
A photographer explores the ancient Cambodian temple and modern Siem Reap looking for odd angles, surprises and reflections of today's world in the ancient carvings.
As promised, except for a few traditional postcard images, these photographs are unusual and often feature the children who sell fruit and souvenirs at the monument gates and play among the 1,000-year-old ruins. The centerpiece is a photo album of modern Cambodian life with accompanying images of ancient carvings showing similar activities. Sobol weaves a brief explanation of the Khmer Empire and their ruined temple complex into his travelogue. He visits a dance studio, where he sees students practicing traditional gestures just like those of dancers on the temple walls, and a school where youngsters learn English. At the end, these children lead Sobol past the ancient trees and stone rubble in Ta Prohm to a surprising carving, their favorite. While not quite the secret Sobol portrays, since photographs of this curious creature have been available on the Web for several years, this image is sure to appeal to child readers as much as it does to visitors.
Part of Sobol's Traveling Photographer series, this useful introduction to a famous tourist destination has unexpected child appeal. (facts, glossary, unlabeled world map) (Nonfiction. 8-11)
Meet the Author
Richard Sobol is an author and award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, TIME, NEWSWEEK, ROLLING STPNE, and numerous other magazines. His children's books include BREAKFAST IN THE RAINFOREST and THE LIFE OF RICE, also part of the TRAVELING PHOTOGRAPHER series. When not traveling, Richard Sobol is home in Massachusetts with his family.
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