From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8-This oversize volume features full-color panoramic drawings of the same riverside European location at 14 different periods from the Stone Age to modern times. Each double-page spread includes a brief paragraph of description, while page borders provide summary overviews and scenes to locate. Some details are labeled. However, this is a book that relies primarily on its illustrations to convey information about the evolution of the site from a settlement to a city and the many eras (Viking, Roman, Medieval, etc.) that are represented. The coverage is so broad and the details are so small that it is often difficult to impossible to interpret what is being conveyed. While some young readers may find these views intriguing, others will find them frustrating and overwhelming.Rosie Peasley, Empire Union School District, Modesto, CA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3^-6. With each turn of its elongated pages, this imaginative volume graphically reveals the continuity of history. Beginning in the year 10,000 B.C., in a Stone Age hunters' camp, the book reveals how its riverfront location is key to the site's development. This primitive camp is the germ of the modern, bustling, big-city street viewed in the concluding double-page spread. In between, each panoramic image of this same locale witnesses significant achievements of each spotlighted epoch. The view from the Iron Age of 600 B.C. makes clear the impact of iron tools and weapons, and the next page jumps to A.D. 100 when the Roman influence means large stone buildings, a bridge, and an elaborate lifestyle. The medieval centuries draw repeated attention: first, the street as part of a village is visited in the 1200s; increased prosperity and growth see the village blossom into a town in the 1400s; the scene of the 1500s, eerily painted at night, intensifies the grisly realities of the Black Plague of that era. The text is printed in the borders, surrounding the pages and serving as a guide through the elaborately detailed illustrations, where keen-eyed readers can spot elements of humor and everyday life portrayed by the diminutive residents peopling the pages. There are also Where's Waldo
type gimmicks to make a game of gleaning the most information from the busy artwork. A fun and effective way to lure youngsters into the study and enjoyment of history. Ellen Mandel