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Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

by Shawndra Shofner

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A detailed physical map shows the location of the Taj Mahal relative to both the Indian subcontinent and the larger landmass of Eurasia. The text reads clearly and in the engaging voice of a storyteller, beginning with the meeting of fifteen-year-old Arjumand Banu Begum and the young Prince Khurram, who was to become the Emperor Shah Jahan. He would later build for her the tomb that would come to epitomize romantic love for countless generations. Chapters detail the deadly Mughal struggles for succession to the throne; the growing role of the princess Arjumand Banu, who would take on the name of Mumtaz Mahal; the construction of the magnificent mausoleum; its history under British rule; and threats to its continued preservation today. A final chapter contains a basic guide for tourists. This is a handsome book with well-written text. It is illustrated with mostly well-chosen full color photographs showing a number of views of the monument, as well as other archival images. A lavish two-page spread shows a sunrise view from across the Yamuna River. Spot photos show goldfish and songbirds that can be seen in the ponds, gardens, and vicinity. Only one picture, of a woman in a blue burqa-like costume, seems out of context, especially placed as it is near text informing us that no portraits exist of Mumtaz Mahal. Quick facts, a glossary, and an index round out the book. Other titles in this series ("Ancient Wonders of the World") include Egyptian Pyramids, Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Statues of Easter Island, and Stonehenge. 2006, Creative Education, Ages 8 to 12.
—Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Large, colorful photographs enhance each text while side boxes hold interesting, complementary facts. For example, readers are informed that visitors to the Taj Mahal must remove their shoes before entering the burial chamber, in keeping with Muslim religious etiquette. There are some flaws, especially in Stonehenge. To state that "Long ago, people believed that giants and magic played a part in the structure's creation" is speculative. Also, such sentences as "Over the years, religious fanatics, believing Stonehenge was a place for devil worship, have tried to destroy it" appear without sources to indicate where Shofner got her information. And a box in Taj Mahal states that "Mogul emperors delighted in watching convicted criminals writhe to their death from the bite of a poisonous snake...." A "Quick Facts" page in each book lists such details as the composition of the structure and how many visitors it receives per year. Nancy Stone Bernard and Caroline Malone's Stonehenge (Oxford Univ., 2002) is equally suitable for this age group, as is Linda Tagliaferro's Taj Mahal (Bearport, 2005), although the latter title is less detailed than Shofner's. Acceptable where there is a need.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Creative Company, The
Publication date:
Ancient Wonders of the World Series
Product dimensions:
11.20(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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