From School Library Journal
Grade 3–5—A cardboard portcullis on the cover slides up to lure children into entering a (generic, western European) 13th-century town populous enough to have a bridge, castle, and cathedral. Featuring static painted scenes and passages of text written in brief, declarative sentences, the flat spreads between each pop-up cover a range of topics from "Crafts and Trades" and "Homes in the City" to knightly training and daily life for both the upper and the lower classes. The former gets more play, however, as a knight named Sir Hugo functions as tour guide, injecting bland comments ("I enjoy the music and feasting at the king's banquet") while living the knightly life by participating in a tourney and various battles. The 3-D models are hard to open fully, and the castle in particular is fitted with big, clumsy connecting tabs. For quality of design and presentation, this doesn't match Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart's Castle
(Scholastic, 2006), but the urban setting does add an unusual angle to a title that deserves consideration for displays and casual browsing.—John Peters, New York Public Library
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