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Aztec, Inca & Maya (Eyewitness books) Hardcover – September 14, 1993

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-The three major civilizations of the Americas are introduced here in a compare-and-contrast, scattershot approach. Small, sparkling, full-color captioned photographs of cities, pottery, jewelry, and clothing accompany one-paragraph texts on such general topics (treated on two pages each) as farming, hunting and fishing, family life, and more. Photos of the Mexican National Archeological Museum's re-creations of scenes of daily life are used to depict such ancient activities as trade, tribute, and medicine. Illustrations from the pages of the Mayan codices are reproduced throughout, but there is no explanation of their significance until page 40, or of what the conquering Spaniards did with them. Although the pictures are bright, clear, and attention grabbing, the text is just random facts scattered across the pages. These majestic cultures are done a disservice by this weightless flitting from topic to topic.
Frances E. Millhouser, Reston Regional Library,
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

...a mini museum between the covers of a book. [Eyewitness series] -- The New York Times

These books' striking visual impact will draw in even the most casual readers. [Eyewitness series] -- School Library Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1050L (What's this?)
  • Series: Eyewitness books
  • Hardcover: 63 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 14, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067983883X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679838838
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,611,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My assumption is that a DK Eyewitness Book entitled "Aztec, Inca & Maya" would devote sections to each of the three great civilizations that Spanish explorers encountered and eradicated in the 16th century. The Aztec empire stretched between the Pacific and the Atlantic costs of Mesoamerica, the Maya kingdom was found in the eastern part of Mesoamerica, and the Inca Empire stretched 4,000 miles along the western coast of South America. But this book considers the people of these regions to be a mosaic of tribes and nations so that most of the chapters are topical, talking about food and drink, religious life, masks, and such in terms of all of the cultures that apply. There are a few specific chapters devoted to the Incas and their ancestors and Cities of the Andes, but most toss in everything together.

I have to admit, I do not find this approach to work anymore than one about Mediterranean cultures that lumps Spain, Italy and Greece together with the likes of Portugal, Sicily, and Crete thrown in for good measure. In this volume the Olmecs, Teotihuacans, and Toltecs are thrown in for good measure, but not so that you can have anything close to a clear conception of the specific cultures. There are some topics where it makes sense to talk about multiple cultures, such as the Human sacrifice by the Incas and Aztecs, but that does not apply to all of these topics. Consequently, I am tempted to get different colored highlighters and color code the three main cultures throughout the book so it is easier to make the connections.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of the DK Eyewitness series, but even so, I could not like this book despite the usual gorgeous photographs.

The pages were arranged thematically and the different cultures (Aztec, Inca, Maya, Toltec, Olmec, Moche, Mixtec, Nazca...) were so intermixed that it became painful to keep which was which straight--and I already knew a nontrivial amount about most of them!

The SLJ wrote in their review, "Although the pictures are bright, clear, and attention grabbing, the text is just random facts scattered across the pages. These majestic cultures are done a disservice by this weightless flitting from topic to topic." I couldn't agree more. SKIP this one!
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Format: Hardcover
This is another in the delightful series of Eyewitness books for children. It is beautifully illustrated with excellent photographs and a terrific collection of illustrations taken from modern and historical sources. However, this book tries to cover too much in the alloted space. The book shows examples of clothing, tools, architecture, religion and arts from all 3 cultures (Maya, Aztec & Inca). Unfortunately, the book also includes examples from cultures preceding and succeeding these great civilizations such as the Moche, Mixtec, Toltec, Olmec and Nazca. This makes for a somewhat confusing situation, and you wish for a timeline and map to show when and where all these peoples are located. All in all, it's a very eye-catching book. I do suggest for future editions the Eyewitness folks should consider books that concentrate specifically on the Maya, Aztec or Inca, or at least one volume on Mexico and Mesoamerica and one volume on Peru.
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Format: Hardcover
I am an ESOL teacher who has to teach about a variety of topics daily. I am currently teaching about Native Americans and this book helped quite a bit with teaching about Maya, Aztecs and the Inca. The topic is so absorbing, I'm having trouble fitting the North Americans in! The pictures and articfacts are very interesting and I thought well presented. I think we have mostly small items related to these civilizations so it is hard to see how Eyewitness could have differentiated them more. I could be wrong but think this book was really helpful to my students. They have little concept of these cultures as all come from Asia. It's fun and not as boring as they thought.
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Format: Hardcover
I am an adult who found the book a quick and easy way to be introduced to a subject I did not know much about. I am using it to discuss Mexican artists during student and adult tours at my local art museum.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Quick delivery. Good service. My grandson is enjoying this book immemsely. This series of books is excellent. I highly recommend these to anyone, even adults. They are brimming with information.
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Format: Hardcover
This is another excellent entry in the Eyewitness Books series, for young readers. The illustrations, as always, are wonderful. The slick pages speak to a quality production. The text is written well and conveys information accessible to the series' audience.

The volume begins with an historical perspective on the three civilizations--Aztec, Maya, and Inca. After that, as with other volumes in the series that focus on civilizations, we read of the everyday life and context of the people being examined. What topics are considered? Farming, hunting/fishing, cities, family and home life, food and drink, religion, medicine, literacy and numbers, clothes, the arts, and so on. All discussions provide enough detail to give young readers a pretty good sense of each society.

This particular work ends with the Spanish conquest of the New World and, with it, the end of these three impressive societies.

So, to summarize. . . . A strong entry in the series of Eyewitness Books. Young readers interested in these early civilizations will enjoy this work.
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