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Pompeii: Lost and Found Hardcover – January 10, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 3-5–After brief accounts of the events of 79 A.D. and the first archaeological investigations of the city that lay beneath the fields surrounding Mt. Vesuvius, Osborne's straightforward text focuses on the life at Pompeii at the time of the volcano's eruption. Discussions of daily activities include mention of the many types of buildings unearthed, such as private homes, bakeries, baths, and markets, as well as the activities enjoyed by the free citizens of Pompeii–concerts, plays, and gladiator fights. A large illustration, flanked on the right by two boxes containing text and a smaller picture, occupies most of each spread. Christensen's distinctive, haunting frescoes are reminiscent of the art found throughout the site. Some illustrations are copies of original artwork, while others offer glimpses into what the city may have looked like prior to the volcano's eruption, detail objects found on location, and offer readers information on dress, decoration, and architecture. The illustrations are framed with decorative patterns typical of the period and the colors used reflect those found at Pompeii, including the distinctive, earthen red of some of its most familiar frescoes. While Osborne's text does not go into great detail, it will serve as an enticing introduction to this legendary city frozen in time. Students ready for more information will be fascinated by James M. Deem's Bodies from the Ash (Houghton, 2005), illustrated with outstanding color photos.–Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal
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Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. Christensen's striking, original frescoes illustrate this lively introduction to Pompeii. Osborne begins by imagining what the Roman city's residents were doing just before Mount Vesuvius' ash buried the city. Later spreads chronicle archaeological discoveries and discuss how scientists form a picture of daily life from the objects, buildings, and artworks recovered from the magnificently preserved site. The theatrical account of the ancient citizens' response to the disaster will bring children right into the history, as will the clear, succinct descriptions of how the people of Pompeii ate, bathed, shopped, and amused themselves. Christensen's unusual frescoes, with their cracked, rough-hewn surfaces and blurred figures in Roman costume, extend the sense of antiquity while making the details of ancient life (and the terror of the event) tangible. In a lovely closing, two images reinforce connections to history by juxtaposing the same street scene, shown first with a Roman Empire mother and child, then with a contemporary mother and son. A note about frescoes and a quiz close. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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In this book, she steps away from writing bland dialog and preaching lectures on wholesome New-Age living to create an enjoyable book. Bonnie Christensen's exceptional artwork is satisfying and delicious. This is a must-have. Don't turn up your nose just because the author's other work is uninteresting; give it a try. It's a nice surprise.
This is a good presentation of what happened in Pompeii when Vesuvius erupted. Nice large book -- great illustrations.
Bonnie Christensen’s amazing illustrations given air of authenticity to the book. She adapts the style of her art to the subject matter once again by creating genuinely frescoes to tell the story of Pompeii. In Italy, the artist learned how to paint pure pigment mixed with water on wet plaster, like the ancient Romans, creating a fresco. She explains the process in a note at the end of the book. As we turn the pages, it feels as though we have walked into an ancient city. The texture of the frescoes is authentic and fascinating.
Children, and adults, of all ages will learn from and enjoy this exceptional book. Highly recommended.
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