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Rome Antics Hardcover – October 27, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 880L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 27, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395822793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395822791
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Somewhere in the Italian hills, a homing pigeon is released. She soars quickly and follows an old road, which (of course) leads to Rome." So begins Caldecott Medal-winning artist David Macaulay's visually festive journey that tracks the whimsical flight of a homing pigeon through the archways, over the terra-cotta rooftops, and between the columns of this most ancient and vibrant city: "Instead of traveling directly to her destination, which is standard pigeon procedure, she decides to take the scenic route." Macaulay's angle of vision pans back and forth between the pigeon's-eye view and that of a roaming cinematographer. The effect is a kaleidoscope of whirling, swooping, dizzying images that must resemble flight itself. Macaulay's intricately crosshatched pen-and-ink images of Rome--with its ancient amphitheater, Colosseum, Temple of Hercules, elaborate fountains, and bustling cafes (with a feast of crumbs for a travel-weary pigeon)--provide a dazzling display of architectural finery. We are so swept up in the homing pigeon's divergent path--marked on the black-and-white vistas by a thin red line--that we momentarily forget she has a task at talon. All is explained in the uplifting one-word message joyfully delivered by the pigeon to the sketch artist (Macaulay himself?) shown at work in the last scene of the book. Rome Antics concludes with an aerial map of the city, marked with the pigeon's flight path. Roman sites from the Arch of Constantine to the Pantheon are briefly described as well. This lovely visual serenade to Rome is a delight for anyone who could fall in love with such a city as this. (All ages)

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up. Macaulay's trademark bird's-eye views of famous works of architecture become in this book the literal substance of the text. Modern Rome is seen through the skewed perspective of a homing pigeon's erratic flight through the city streets as she delivers a message to an artist in a garret. Darting and swooping above rooftops and into alleyways, the bird takes readers on a haphazard tour as it catches an overhead view of the Colosseum, sees churches aslant and turned upside down, sails into the sky above a piazza, and makes brief forays down cobbled streets to search for crumbs. Macaulay adds sly touches of humor to the pen-and-ink sketches, as voracious cats eye the pigeon and people pursue their chores and pleasures, oblivious of the bird's flight, which is indicated by a thin red line. The famous landmarks are here, perhaps seen only as a piece of a cornice, the columns of a structure, or a section of an ancient wall. The book includes a map of the city "As the pigeon flies" with each structure numbered, and an addendum shows the 22 featured buildings with a paragraph or two of interesting facts about each one. As a guidebook to modern Rome, Macaulay's sketchbook is unconventional and too sophisticated for young children, but for those with a knowledge of, or a yearning to see one of the great cities of the world, it is full of informative details and amusing incidents.?Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

David Macaulay is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books have sold millions of copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. Macaulay has garnered numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award. In 2006, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, given "to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations." Superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information distinguish all of his books. David Macaulay lives with his family in Vermont.

Customer Reviews

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An amazing book of illustrations.
Hal Foss
With over 136+ great vocabulary words this book provides more learning than most children's books (vocabulary depends on your child's level).
untitled841
The more familiar you are with the architecture of the City of Rome, the more you will cherish this book!
S.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By untitled841 on January 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
With over 136+ great vocabulary words this book provides more learning than most children's books (vocabulary depends on your child's level).

The plot is thick enough to keep even the adult reading it hooked. It all starts when a homing pigeon is sent out with a message changes her usual path to tour the city of Rome on her way to deliver the message. In true Italian style there is a café, piazza, a soccer game, churches, mopeds, a crumb hunt and more pigeons!

The book is presented in simple black and white drawings with the pigeon's path traced in red. The pictures of the story cover at least 85% of each page with the words at the bottom, as well as labels for each site in Rome that the pigeon is flying past. On the last pages these monuments are listed and briefly described. The font is easy for most children to read, and there are no italicized words making letter distinction even easier to handle for children.

All in all a great story for child and reader that does an amazing job describing a foreign city down to the last detail keeping everyone entertained.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. on November 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful! Macauley's lively yet precise drawing of bits and pieces of Rome forms a witty masterpiece!
The more familiar you are with the architecture of the City of Rome, the more you will cherish this book!
It is also a wonderful introduction to the city for a child: Rome can be overwhelming and in Rome Antics Macauley makes the city into child's play!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By HeatherHH on June 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
We are a big fan of David Macaulay's books, such as Pyramid, Castle, Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction, and Mill. His crisp black-and-white drawings make it easy to see important details, while the text is always very informative and interesting. So, when Rome Antics was recommended by our history curriculum for next year, we didn't hesitate to buy it. Unfortunately, we've been greatly disappointed.

The biggest complaint is the quality of the drawings. They are not nearly as crisp as his usual drawings. There are so many endless attempts to have extra lines going this way and that to add texture that it's hard to make out details. A 1" square drawing of a man's thumbnail had over 2 dozen lines running across it! You don't really get a good feel for what the buildings of Rome look like. On one 2-page spread, the pigeon we're following flies upside down and so the picture is inverted, and I didn't even have enough interest to bother turning the page upside-down to look.

There is also no plot. You're just following a bird all around Rome, with no more text on a 2-page spread than "Perhaps the scenic route was not such a good idea." The book was exceedingly dull.

The end of the book did have 4 pages that looked back at each of the buildings that was previously flown by. There was a thumbnail picture of the building and a few sentences about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patterson P. Patrick on November 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David is an awesome writer and can sketch a picture that will draw you in. He uses all this to covertly educate you on the topic at hand. Rome Antics is clever from the title page on. Buy it and enjoy it.
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By A Customer on December 9, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Share David MacAuley's obviously personal portrait of Rome. It's a portrait in the most obvious sense: lovingly detailed drawings of Rome's greatest architecture captured from MacAuley's witty and often weird perspective. But, through the drawings and the wonderful conceit, you see that this little book is also a personal exploration of a city that touches the heart.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn McKenzie on May 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a trip through Roma from a pigeon's point of view. The pigeon flies around, through, over and past many of Rome's historical landmarks, and a brief section in back describes their history and significance.
I checked this out of the library to read with my 5 year old after I went to Rome last year, and bought a copy for myself, just to enjoy the pictures and the memories they bring! The Chiesa de San Ignazio (Church of St. Ignatius) is an especial favorite, as my choir performed there to a "standing room only" crowd! Quite a feat for an amateur choir on their first overseas tour!
The pen and ink sketches, the snippets of history, and the wonderful way they evoke the charisma of Rome make this a great addition to any child's or adult's library.
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