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68
Castle
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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
In this book, text and detailed drawings follow the planning and construction of a "typical" castle and adjoining town in thirteenth-century Wales. Macaulay recently added the title "Mosque" to his series of large constructions such as "Castle" or "Pyramid". It is nice to see the man being so prolific. This book would appeal to the child who likes to know exactly how things are created. Going step by step, Macaulay explains each leg in the process of creating a castle. More importantly, with each construction the author goes even further, explaining the purpose of that piece. The reader never looses sight of the fact that castles were both antagonistic and defensive. Children today that have seen the Lord of the Rings movies might be very interested in knowing more about the construction of these structures and how difficult they were to defeat. Macaulay's drawings are just as interesting as his text. Pencil drawings label and list every tool, brick, and worker. Undoubtedly, this is not a book for everyone and it would not be much use beyond serving as a reference guide for interested students. However, should a teacher wish to bring it up, they might wish to show the video Macaulay narrated of this book. Also, it might go well with Avi's "Crispin: The Cross of Lead", as a look at a castle from a peasant's point of view.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2005
Of all the wonderful books written and illustrated by the great David Macaulay, this is my favorite. It was also the first of his books to which I was introduced. I was about seven and I read and re-read this book while pressing my face close to take in every feature of its lovely illustrations. I hope children in all times are as lucky as I was to meet a special book like this one and have it carry them off to a magical world between its covers.

All that said, let me tell you something about Castle. Castle, like most of Macaulay's books, tells the story of all features in the building of a great work, in this case it is Aberwyvern, a forbidding castle King Edward I is constructing on the Welsh frontier. Macaulay leads us through the selection of the location for the fortress, the clearing of the earth, the setting of the foundation, and the building of its mighty walls and skyscraping towers. He introduces us to the masons and laborers, soldiers and nobles who will live and work at Aberwyvern. And just when the castle is done, Macaulay shows us a Medieval seige in all its brutal depth, as the native Welsh fiercely battle the invading English and seek to bring down their imposing castle.

This book is truly one for the ages, and I cannot imagine anyone, small child through adult, would not love what they see here! I still have the copy I got when I was little and I get it down from the shelf to read at least a few times a year.

I hope this review was helpful and I hope it leads at least one person who might not have known about Castle to the library or bookseller to discover this special book!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 1999
I read this book when I was about twelve and fell in love with it. It wasn't only the pictures that captured my imagination, but also the story. When I was older, I traveled to Wales and was amazed one day when I saw Lord Kevin's castle out of my car window! The castle in Caenarfon, North Wales is almost identical to the one in the book. When I walked through it (they let you roam anywhere in the castle you want to) it was like walking in this beautiful book!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
'Castle' gives a remarkable look a the creation of a medieval castle. The specifics of date, place, and people are all fiction, but the details of planning and construction are facts.

The narrative starts before the first shovel was put to earth in the project, with the political situation between England and Wales at the end of the 13th century. This may sound like a bit much for a child's book, but it really isn't. Without going into excessive detail, it brings out the fact that castles were built with reasons. And with money - even the financing of this project gets a few lines.

The largest part of the book describes the various phases of construction, from the first earthworks and defensive ditches forward. Macaulay describes construction, step by step, including the different kinds of walls and their places in defense of the castle. He describes the homely facts of kitchens, chimneys, and human waste. He mentions the different trades involved, and their tools. Once the castle is built, Macaulay even describes a battle, including the sappers' attacks on the walls we just saw under construction.

And, in the end, he describes the castle as a ruin. Once its purpose is served, it is abandoned and let to fall. Its stones are taken for new, peaceful uses.

This book truly brings the castle to life. I don't mean the people and society within it, but the building itself. We see its birth, its life, and even its valor in battle. Then, we see its death. This book is sure to inform, and even encourage a child's curiousity. If we know what's behind the walls of the castle, then what's behind our modern walls?

//wiredweird
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1997
I received this book as a gift when I was 13 and it remained a cherished favorite of mine for years. I now 'read' the same copy to my 3 year old who loves the pictures.
Like all of David MacAulay's books, Castle is a great way to introduce your child to art, architecture, engineering and history.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book twenty years ago while in college because it was so well illustrated, and it did such a great job of answering questions I had about how castles were built and arranged. I haven't looked at it since, but save dit because I knew someday my kids would love it as much as I did.

This week my 2nd grade son checked out a perfectly good book on castles from his school. He poured over the illustrations and read the captions, but he couldn't get answers to his questions: "Dad, what's a 'keep'?.... How did they get up so high to build the towers? ...."

We pulled out Macaulay and he was enthralled. The art work, the text, and the whole flow of the book are all just so well done.

Glad I kept this!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2001
This book covers the planning, construction, & defending of a 'typical' castle of England in the middle ages. The author chose to write/draw about an immaginary castle for 'Lord Kevin'. It also tells a little about life in a castle.
It is all black & white hand drawings/sketches. Nicely done. At times you can almost tell the artist has a sense of humor. It is obviously written for children, but adults can learn from it as well. It is a good study for castles by showing cross-sections.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 1999
This book is great! It taught me a lot about castles. It has great pictures, and a superb storyline. It will always remain one of my favorite books!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2003
I highly recommend any book by David Macaulay. Both children and adults will be captivated by the wonderful drawings.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2005
Book Review!

on the book Castle

This was a good book, it had a lot of

information on how they make a castle. it also told how they protect their castle by

throwing stones at the people below and

shooting them with bows through little slots

in the walls. The pictures in the book were good, they helped me understand the information a lot better. I would tell other people to

read it unless you don't like castles or

something like that. But other wise its a really good book to read. I would give this book a 8-10 And that's pretty good for me!
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