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El Mundo Antiguo

Book Review

 

Title:

El Mundo Antiguo

Author:

Fiona Chandler

Publisher:

EDC Publishing, Tulsa, OK

ISBN:

0-7460-3890-9

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

March, 2001

Rating:

El Mundo Antiguo is a hardcover book about early civilizations throughout the world. The contents include a number of pictures and illustrations, and the text is entirely in the Spanish language.

This work is closely focused on the period of time from about 10,000 B.C. through 400 A.D. and examines the beginnings of civilization on each of the major continents. Each chapter answers the basic questions of when, where and how these peoples lived. Every page has colorful drawings, pictures and maps to help one visualize everyday life. These pictures include typical village and city scenes showing everyday activities, drawings that show typical clothing styles, and cutaway views of buildings to show home life and customs.

The text contains a wealth of cultural information. Some of the topics covered for each early civilization include religion and worship, art forms, political orientation, wars and military organization, and burial rites. Extensive coverage is given to early Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Indian, South American and Chinese civilizations. Early peoples in Africa and the Americas are also described.

Several features of this book are unique and increase reading comprehension. The top of every page includes a title detailing the civilization and period of time for that particular page. At the bottom of the page is a timeline with a segment highlighted corresponding to the time period being discussed. Maps are presented in two sections with a continent sized view and a close-up view that both have the referenced location highlighted or outlined. Small boxes sprinkled throughout the text emphasize key dates and events for each period of history. A chronological table at the rear of the book illustrates the progression of civilization on each continent in a side-by-side presentation for easy comparisons.

This book is written for children with Spanish as a primary language, but provides an ideal opportunity for students studying Spanish to get hands on reading practice. The book is so extensively illustrated that the meaning of unfamiliar words can be easily guessed. The level of detail in the drawings and pictures provides many fascinating insights into how these peoples actually lived.

This book is an excellent intermediate level reader for students learning Spanish. Maps, pictures and drawings help the reader understand what is discussed without having to constantly refer to a dictionary or pocket translator.

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