From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up. Two new entries in the publisher's large-format, chatty series that cover early civilizations. They bring readers a wealth of information in colorful pictures, short articles, and witty "ads" that emphasize the social milieu of ancient Egypt and the world of the Aztecs. From the endpapers decorated with hieroglyphics (Egypt) and the Aztec calendar, to the parchment-colored pages bordered with appropriate symbols, the books exhibit designs and illustrations, costumes and colors based on archaeological findings from these cultures. Feature articles tell of major historical events under headlines reading "Empire at Risk" or "Boy-King Dies." Local news tells of "Maize and Beans Festival" or advertises "Scribes Needed." Special interest coverage brings "Girl talk" and articles on hunting, marriage, and medicine. Wit and humor abound in advertisements for amulets, mud-brick townhouses, and a news picture of an armored Spanish soldier "dressed to kill." Narrative history is lost in this postmodern approach to the past. The "eyewitness" accounts and tongue-in-cheek descriptions couched in modern newscopy and sales talk compress the centuries of these civilization into a single newspaper-style edition. But the books will attract browsers; they bring the varieties of human experience of the past to life; and the facts are there to be absorbed and enjoyed by students who love history as well as those who claim to hate it. Like today's newspapers, these titles offer something for everyone.?Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Scott Steedman is an editor, writer and publishing consultant, and an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. He co-edited Visions of British Columbia, winner of the 2010 City of Vancouver Book Award.
James Putnam has been a Visiting Scholar in Museum Studies at New York University and Curator of the Contemporary Arts and Cultures Program at the British Museum.
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