Barmi CL

Pilar Comes, Author, Jordi Ballonga, Illustrator, Xavier Hernandez, With Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $14.95 (60p) ISBN 978-0-395-54227-9
Readers of David Macaulay's sumptuous works on architecture will find Barmi very familiar. Lucid, detailed black-and-white ink drawings illustrate the centuries-long development of a composite Mediterranean coast city, from its origins as a farming and herding community through Roman and barbarian occupation, the Renaissance and the industrial revolution to a present-day metropolis. Breathtaking two-page aerial views of the city and surrounding countryside alternate with explanatory drawings, diagrams and text showing how the citizens of Barmi lived, worshiped, defended their city and provided roads, water and other communal services. Though concise and authoritative, the writing depends too much on readers' familiarity with each historical era, and leaves many art history terms undefined. Nevertheless this illuminating and enriching book provides a vivid way to learn about the history of community life in Europe. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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