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Parthenon Hardcover – July 6, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-8–Just in time for the Olympics comes this splendid introduction to Greece's most renowned monument. Curlee covers the mythic and historical backgrounds that led to the fifth-century construction of the temple to Athena. He also describes other components of the Acropolis, as well as relating the Elgin controversy and the effects of modern air pollution. His examination of the architectural details is particularly accurate and absorbing: he explicates all elements of the structure, its decoration, and the heroic statue it originally enclosed. The limpid, forthright prose matches artwork of similar clarity and elegant simplicity. The acrylic paintings balance areas of flat color with finely controlled line. Well-labeled plans of the Acropolis and the Parthenon, and examples of the classical Orders of Architecture, help youngsters to orient themselves. Most illustrations occupy a single page, but there are three stunning spreads, each extending almost 24 inches: a reconstructed view of the pristine Acropolis in elevation, the horse riders portion of the frieze, and the artist's re-creation of Phidias's gold-and-ivory statue. The visuals are dramatic enough to hold younger viewers, while the text will satisfy curious older readers. The violet, teal, and indigo skies are as good as a swim in the Aegean. This book offers a noble and informative tribute to the beauty and meaning of this ancient architectural hymn to human aspiration.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 5-8. Curlee, author-illustrator of Brooklyn Bridge (2001), Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (2002), and capital (2003), returns to the ancient world to spotlight the Parthenon. The book's most memorable feature is Curlee's handsome acrylic paintings, including many full-page illustrations. Created with a restrained palette, the paintings are composed with an air of simplicity, harmony, and dignity that befits the book's subject. Though most aspects of the text are accessible to younger children, the discussion of the building's architecture and construction includes terminology that is unfamiliar to most young people, although these words, such as cella or peristyle, are clearly explained in context. There's a good introduction to Athenian history, and the discussion of the Parthenon's purpose, its proportions, its construction, and its slow destruction makes fascinating reading. Curlee also explains the controversy still raging over the "Elgin Marbles," taken from the Acropolis to London in 1812. A map, a floor plan, and a striking double-page representation of a statue of Athena add to the visual interest. The last page includes a brief source bibliography. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (July 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689844905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689844904
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 10.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,709,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Boni on May 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Lyn Curlee's Parthenon is an odd mix of beautiful artwork and detailed text. The graphics Curlee creates in Parthenon is a mixture of diagrams of the parthenon and gorgeous paintings that depict what the parthenon could have been like in ancient Greece. On the other hand, Curlee includes detailed text that explains why the parthenon was built, how it was built, and why it was destroyed. However, Curlee uses vocabulary that could be inaccessible for younger children without extensive parental guidance.
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Format: Hardcover
I got this for my fourth grader, who is interested in Ancient Greece, and the myths, art, and architecture of the time. "Parthenon" is by Lynn Curlee, who also did another favorite of ours, "Brooklyn Bridge."

His books are informative -- I learned plenty about the Parthenon from reading this book. But kids like the book, too. The information is good, the writing is clear, and the facts are presented in a way that is accessible and exciting.

The illustrations will knock your socks off -- Curlee takes the time to show and explain the proportions and angles that make the Parthenon such a visually beautiful structure, even in ruins.
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Format: Hardcover
In response to the previous review, I'd like to point out that it's often difficult to find books for young-ish children that don't use dumbed-down or over-simplified vocabulary. My daughter, 6, is an excellent reader, who both understood and enjoyed the book without my help. I'm grateful when authors remember that many young readers have wide vocabularies.
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