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A single volume, highly visual reference chronicles the history of our changing world, from caves to skyscrapers, offering timeline perspectives on everything from science and technology to art and fashion.
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Grade 5-8?An oversized, encyclopedic, visually oriented survey of human beings and their inventions. After an overview of the origins of life on Earth, Platt and Delf offer information on everyday objects, buildings, and communication and transportation devices. Chronologically arranged, the book offers the spectrum of human achievements, which became increasingly complex and sophisticated over the centuries. Laid out in neat, horizontal rows, the illustrations and captions promise hours of pleasure to lovers of pictorial detail and facts about "things." Weapons, machines, bridges, and ships parade across the pages in small, precisely detailed drawings. While the inventions and discoveries of ancient and Asian cultures are included, this title is overwhelmingly a celebration of the inventors of the Western world; in the biographical index hardly a woman or a non-European appears. This volume does not offer original interpretations or commentary. Its strength is as a compendium of traditional knowledge within limited fields of interest.?Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3^-7. The title may exaggerate the amount of information found in this book, but the author and artist Brian Delf who brought things together have certainly encompassed a large territory. Opening with an explanation of the Big Bang, they move to double-page spreads about the earth's geography, dinosaurs, and mammals, each including numerous small drawings or diagrams accompanied by three-or four-line factual snippets. Four other broad categories---everyday life, buildings, making and measuring, and transportation--are treated in the same way. The scope creates some problems (no book covering plate tectonics in four sentences will be useful for reports) as well as some startling juxtapositions--a page concerned with clothing pictures a seventeenth-century Japanese warrior, a Puritan, and an Inuit standing side by side. However, the attractive, detailed artwork and informative, fascinating tidbits make this a fine book for browsing. Susan Dove Lempke
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