Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
This "Seven Wonders" series presents the ancient world from an unusual perspective to aspiring archeologists and history lovers who may not yet be aware of these ancient marvels. Big illustrations, well reproduced and carefully captioned, let kids see the monuments as viewed in different periods and depicted in various styles; maps help locate them, while readable text answers questions that spring to mind about each. This volume follows the list of seven wonders created by ancient Greek writers when some of the structures could still be seen. It begins with the only one standing today, Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza (visited around 450 B.C. by Herodotus and made famous in Greece). Then come lesser-known wonders like the Colossus of Rhodes, Alexandria's lighthouse, the hanging gardens at Babylon (near present-day Baghdad), a giant Mausoleum (there really was a king called Mausolus), Zeus's statue at Olympia, and the mysterious statue of Artemis in a temple at Ephesus. Sidebars explain unfamiliar words and point out connections; for example, our Statue of Liberty is often called the "Colossus of the New World." Artists' interpretations, like Peter Connolly's meticulous cutaway of a siege engine, help readers understand how such giant works could have been built. Especially striking in this book is a photo of a crusader castle built from stones of the ruined Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. For readers just discovering the lure of history and archeology, this intriguing series brings the ancient world to life and might even inspire a lifetime of research. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Using a tour of the original seven wonders as their springboard, these books comb UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites to present similar profiles of seven extant but lesser-known man-made wonders. These range from the immense Nazca geoglyphs in modern Peru and Sudan's little-known Kush pyramids to Japan's Todaiji-the largest wooden building in the world-and the massive, 2000-year-old Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines. Each gets a chapter, well endowed with side panels; quotes from archaeologists; and color photos, period art, or, in Ancient World, more recent reconstructions (such as a photograph of Lenin's tomb in the section on the mausoleum at Halicarnassus). The authors retrace the history of each site, describe preservation challenges and efforts, and close with generous, annotated resource lists-plus an invitation to readers to choose an eighth wonder.