Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

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Overview

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Colossus of Rhodes. The Great Pyra-mid at Giza. For centuries these names have inspired wonder and mystery. They are but three of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Most of these masterpieces of human achievement have long since crumbled into dust. But their legacy survives, and these triumphs of human vision, architecture, and creativity have become the stuff of legends.
In the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Lynn Curlee ponders the ...

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Overview

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Colossus of Rhodes. The Great Pyra-mid at Giza. For centuries these names have inspired wonder and mystery. They are but three of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Most of these masterpieces of human achievement have long since crumbled into dust. But their legacy survives, and these triumphs of human vision, architecture, and creativity have become the stuff of legends.
In the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Lynn Curlee ponders the questions that have fascinated researchers and archaeologists for decades: What purpose did these structures have for the societies that built them? How did they achieve the means necessary to construct such intricate and innovative temples and statues? Mr. Curlee investigates and illustrates how these Seven Wonders must have appeared at their peak.
With extraordinary paintings and a moving narrative, Mr. Curlee tells the story of some of man's greatest feats and explores the timeless desire of cultures to leave a permanent mark on the Earth.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Curlee (Liberty; Rushmore; Brooklyn Bridge) broadens his scope from famous American monuments to global feats of antiquity. He opens with a poem by the Greek poet Antipater of Sidon, naming the septet of "wondrous marvels," then the author states "Seven was a mystical number to ancient people, and each of these spectacular sights was a masterpiece of architecture, sculpture, or engineering, famous for its great size, beauty, grandeur, and perfection." Ironically, the oldest of these, the Great Pyramid at Giza, is also the only one still standing. To emphasize its enormity, Curlee paints an image of Napoleon standing on the ruins of another nearby pyramid; thus, readers view how the "huge pile of carefully cut and fitted stones" was constructed as well as a sense of scale. The author then proceeds, chronologically, through the other six wonders, responsibly discussing various archeological theories. He confirms, for instance, that the foundations of a ziggurat at King Nebuchadrezzar II's palace were uncovered, but that experts disagree about whether sufficient proof exists of the hanging gardens at Babylon. Curlee also takes subtle stands: although he sketches four "versions" of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, he expresses his own preference with his full-bleed portrait of the structure. The expanse of his ambitious subject does not allow the author to delve into the kinds of details allowed by his single- subject volumes, but he certainly whets readers' appetites with this well-researched introduction. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Using a healthy dose of imagination mixed with archaeological and historical fact, Mr. Curlee has created an engaging introduction to the seven wonders of the ancient world. Each description is no longer than two to three pages, but each attempts to begin to answer the how and why questions that we ask today regarding the people and resources involved in the construction of each marvel. The text, which is not at all daunting, has just the right mix of romantic wonder and historical reference to draw young readers in, arouse interest and inspire further investigation. The illustrations, done in eye-catching bold acrylics, are surreal and captivating. They seem, to the reader, larger than life, as surely the wonders must have seemed to the people of the Hellenistic era. Considering that the average person can only name one or two of the seven wonders, this is much needed addition to the world of children's book. I highly recommend this as a resource and can see many classroom discussions and activities evolving from this book. 2002, Antheum Books for Young Readers,
— Trina Heidt
School Library Journal
With the exception of the Great Pyramid, book illustrations are the only way to "see" these amazing structures. Thoughtful commentary that includes conflicting theories makes this a good supplement for classes studying Western civilization. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of Rushmore (1999) and other visits to modern wonders turns to the seven originals-though, as he points out, the list only became set in stone (as it were) within the last 500 years, long after all but the Great Pyramid at Giza had vanished. Next to monumental, full-page views done with a severe formality reminiscent of Leonard Everett Fisher's work, Curlee surveys what we know of each Wonder from ancient sources and modern archaeology. Though many mysteries remain, such as what the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus actually looked like (Curlee supplies four possibilities) or exactly where the Colossus of Rhodes stood, for most the size, materials, even sometimes the names of the artist-builders have been preserved-as well as each structure's eventual fate. Curlee cites no books or Web sites to fan any flames of interest he might kindle, but he does supply a map. After references to other human-made Wonders past and present, he gathers his once-mighty subjects (quietly substituting Babylon's Ziggurrat of Marduk, which has a more impressive silhouette, for the Hanging Gardens) for a final, to-scale, group portrait alongside the Statue of Liberty and the US Capitol. It's a memorable tour, whether fueled by interest or class assignment. (Nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689831829
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 246,318
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynn Curlee, who received a Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book Award for Brooklyn Bridge, comes from a family of intense sports fans. His other books include Liberty, Ships of the Air, Into the Ice: The Story of Arctic Exploration, Rushmore, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Capital, and, most recently, Parthenon. He lives on the North Fork of Long Island, New York.

Lynn Curlee, who received a Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book Award for Brooklyn Bridge, comes from a family of intense sports fans. His other books include Liberty, Ships of the Air, Into the Ice: The Story of Arctic Exploration, Rushmore, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Capital, and, most recently, Parthenon. He lives on the North Fork of Long Island, New York.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Mediterranean Marvels.

    A favorable review: Informative, and educational. What do the Great Pyramid at Giza, the hanging Gardens of Babylon, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Pharos at Alexandria have in common? As you read this book you will discover the answer. Well developed writing along with beautiful color illustrations of each of the named attractions of the Hellenistic world make this an appealing book for young readers. The author, Lynn Curlee, offers interesting historical facts and fascinating details that hold the reader's attention. On the opening page is a map to show the Mediterranean area during the ancient times. Do you know the history behind the Olympic Games? If you want to know a little information on the games read about it briefly in this book. Also, you will find the definition of olympiads in here as well. Seven Wonders of the Ancient World could be used as part of research for a report on the seven wonders of ancient times or a book report can be written from this book alone. This would be a good book for classroom instruction because of its many details or for enjoyment reading in an after-school setting."

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