Knights & Castles
by Philip DixonSyndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9781416938644]
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Each chapter spread focuses on a specific topic, such as "The Castle at Peace" and "Knights' Last Stand," and includes a short paragraph about each element in the picture. These explanations are rich with information, and the computer-generated illustrations contain many details that will be pored over again and again. The book does not glamorize medieval life, discussing such things as sieges and the long path to becoming a knight. It discusses the reasons for the decline of both knights and castles and gives examples of structures from various periods throughout history. The one problem with the book is the layout imposed by the series. The first part is called "Introducing" and the second part is entitled "In Focus," with both of these containing material about knights and castles. There isn't much difference between the two sections, and dividing the book this way prevents a natural flow of information. Nonetheless, this volume will be useful for reports, and the lifelike illustrations and ease of reading make it appealing for children intrigued by the subject.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
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