From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5–Chatty text and cleanly designed pop-up illustrations provide a hasty overview of life during the Middle Ages. Spreads briefly cover the construction and exterior footprint of a fortress; rooms (from the chapel above to the dungeon below); jobs performed by craftsmen and inhabitants; knighthood, armor, and weapons; a tournament; and a feast. Information is presented in a smoothly flowing narrative that tends toward the enthusiastic (Without an impressive and impregnable castle, you'd be in danger of losing your crown, your title, your lands…even your head!). There is no glossary, but terms such as parapets, oubliette, and trebuchet are defined in context. Featuring scenes such as a multifloored castle interior, a shiny suit of armor, and a joust (with a pull-tab that moves horses toward one another), the pop-ups are colorful and sturdily constructed. Eye-catching details abound in the cartoon-style illustrations; two men nap after a meal on the fortress roof, an extremely unhappy gong farmer cleans the garderobe pit, and a serving woman receives an unwanted pinch during a feast. Libraries having the dough for solteties (sugar-sculpted desserts served by the wealthy) should consider purchasing this fun-to-browse book, while those starved for funds should stick with meatier fare.–Joy Fleishhacker,
School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This striking pop-up book published under the imprimatur of paper engineers Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart, introduces a medieval European castle and the activities within it. Open the first double-page spread and up pops a three-dimensional castle, including its walls, courtyard, and drawbridge, with two smaller gatefold pages revealing other pop-up scenes. From the alchemist in the tower to the prisoners in the torture chamber, the vision of medieval times seems romanticized and the text secondary to the pleasing artwork and paper engineering. Still, Olmon provides plenty of interesting facts about the castle, its inhabitants, and their activities, and what other book includes a working, pop-up catapult that can shoot a spitball three feet? Though primarily a bookstore item, this volume can also serve as an enticing addition to curriculum units and library displays on the Middle Ages. Pair it with Jan Adkins' What If You Met a Knight
(2006) for a more realistic view of the period. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved