Rome Antics

Overview

A pigeon carrying an important message takes the reader on a unique tour through Rome. As we follow the path of this somewhat wayward bird, we discover that Rome is a place where past and present live side by side. Every time a corner is turned there is a surprise, just as every turn of the page brings a new perspective. This juxtaposition of ancient and modern, as seen with David Macaulay's ingenious vision, gives the reader an imaginative and informative journey through ...

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Rome Antics

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Overview

A pigeon carrying an important message takes the reader on a unique tour through Rome. As we follow the path of this somewhat wayward bird, we discover that Rome is a place where past and present live side by side. Every time a corner is turned there is a surprise, just as every turn of the page brings a new perspective. This juxtaposition of ancient and modern, as seen with David Macaulay's ingenious vision, gives the reader an imaginative and informative journey through this wondrous city.

A pigeon carrying an important message takes the reader on a unique tour which includes both ancient and modern parts of the city of Rome.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
As its punny title hints, David Macaulay's Rome Antics is a somewhat witty indulgence best appreciated by his adult fans. The author/artist's varied perspectives of Rome illustrate a spare, thinly-stretched tale of a homing pigeon who, upon reaching the outskirts of Rome, opts for the scenic route through the city to deliver the love note it carries. The bird's erratic path, depicted as a bright red line across black and white drawings in Macaulay's signature style, flows in and around ancient ruins and contemporary, car-filled streets. Before reaching its destination-an artist at work on the last spread of this tale-the pigeon has swooped under the Arch of Constantine, been bumped by a basketball near the church of Santa Maria della Pace, descended through the Pantheon's holey roof, flown in circles simulating scrolls, and been startled by a dust mop thrust through the window of the House of Lorenzo Manilo. Brief descriptions of the sites observed by the avian messenger add substance to this view of a restive roam in Rome.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up--Macaulay's trademark bird's-eye views of famous works of architecture become in this book the literal substance of the text. Modern Rome is seen through the skewed perspective of a homing pigeon's erratic flight through the city streets as she delivers a message to an artist in a garret. Darting and swooping above rooftops and into alleyways, the bird takes readers on a haphazard tour as it catches an overhead view of the Colosseum, sees churches aslant and turned upside down, sails into the sky above a piazza, and makes brief forays down cobbled streets to search for crumbs. Macaulay adds sly touches of humor to the pen-and-ink sketches, as voracious cats eye the pigeon and people pursue their chores and pleasures, oblivious of the bird's flight, which is indicated by a thin red line. The famous landmarks are here, perhaps seen only as a piece of a cornice, the columns of a structure, or a section of an ancient wall. The book includes a map of the city "As the pigeon flies" with each structure numbered, and an addendum shows the 22 featured buildings with a paragraph or two of interesting facts about each one. As a guidebook to modern Rome, Macaulay's sketchbook is unconventional and too sophisticated for young children, but for those with a knowledge of, or a yearning to see one of the great cities of the world, it is full of informative details and amusing incidents.--Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
In another of his explorations of the traversal between A and B (Shortcut, 1995, and a detour: Why the Chicken Crossed the Road, 1987), Macaulay takes the scenic route and concludes, perhaps, that all roads really do lead to Rome.

This bird's-eye view of a grand city's architecture begins when a maiden ties a message onto the leg of a homing pigeon. Before readers can say S.P.Q.R., the pigeon has made the unusual decision of abstaining from the shortest path between two points in favor of a whirling flight through Rome. Macaulay has created a pen-and-ink sketchbook of ancient buildings in the modern city, stringing together black-and-white drawings of landmarks with the thinnest of red lines (to indicate the pigeon's flight). Along with labeled monuments are more mundane sightings: On the street, a dog drinks from a fire hydrant while conversations take place in cafes and on cell phones. The views of Rome are so encompassing that by the time the pigeon delivers its message to a draughtsman hunched over a drawing, readers have almost forgotten the bird's errand. "Yes" is the answer to an unstated question that hangs, tantalizingly, in the air. An aerial map of Rome ("not to scale") and brief, conversational descriptions recap the highlights of the pigeon's trip. In it, Macaulay confirms that his is not a profession, nor an obsession, but a love affair of sketching and architecture.

From the Publisher
"Macaulay's latest celebration of architecture delights in showing how past and present coexist in this ancient city. . . . A visual love letter to the city of Rome. A natural choice for classroom use and a terrific way to whet readers' appetites for Macaulay's earlier titles, such as City." Booklist, ALA

"Even Italophiles may feel as if this clever paean to one of the world's great cities has shown them the real Rome for the first time." Publishers Weekly

"Macaulay's latest celebration of architecture delights in showing how past and present coexist in this ancient city. . . . A visual love letter to the city of Rome. A natural choice for classroom use and a terrific way to whet readers' appetites for Macaulay's earlier titles, such as CITY." Booklist, ALA, Boxed Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618380077
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/3/2011
  • Pages: 79
  • Sales rank: 785,301
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 12.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David Macaulay is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books have sold millions of copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. Macaulay has garnered numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award. In 2006, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, given "to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations." Superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information distinguish all of his books. David Macaulay lives with his family in Vermont.

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