Children's Literature - Lynn O'ConnellThe age of exploration lasted from 1150-1750, ranging from Chinese explorer Zheng He's travels through the Indian Ocean to the voyage of Columbus to the Americas. Morris provides a detailed and appealing overview of this 600-year historical period. The European "Age of Discovery' was primarily initiated to find a sea route to Asia. Marco Polo (Venice) and Ibn Battuta (Tangier) both made it to China and added greatly to geographical knowledge for that era. Besides providing historical information about the discovery of the Spice Islands, the book also provides detailed illustrations and steps for producing the spices nutmeg and mace. Sea exploration is also detailed, including a full description of the parts of the caravel sailing vessel. The European exploration of Africa and the resulting slave trade are also explained, and sailing routes are illustrated. The book highlights later history, including the around-the-world voyages of Magellan and Drake in the 1600s, the Spanish and Portuguese missionary work, and explorations in the Arctic region and the Pacific. The book is part of the "History of the World" series and is a beautifully illustrated book with captivating summaries of key history that will appeal to young readers. Reviewer: Lynn O'Connell
School Library JournalGr 7-10–Similar in style to DK’s “Eyewitness Books,” this appealing series moves from prehistory through medieval Europe and onward to the global issues of today. Along the way, readers are introduced to many prevalent themes in the areas of religion, government, and economics, for example. Spreads discuss a subtopic each, such as the literature and arts of ancient Rome or Inca society and religion. Their effectiveness lies in the combination of lush illustrations, well-chosen, captioned photographs of contemporary artifacts, and reasoned, concise narratives. Succinct time lines border most pages, and effective introductions, the proper amount of white space, and clear dark print maintain organization and clarity. A superior choice.
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