Lynn Curlee, Author, Lynn Curlee, Illustrator . S&S/Atheneum $17 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-83182-9

Curlee (Liberty; Rushmore; Brooklyn Bridge) broadens his scope from famous American monuments to global feats of antiquity. He opens with a poem by the Greek poet Antipater of Sidon, naming the septet of "wondrous marvels," then the author states "Seven was a mystical number to ancient people, and each of these spectacular sights was a masterpiece of architecture, sculpture, or engineering, famous for its great size, beauty, grandeur, and perfection." Ironically, the oldest of these, the Great Pyramid at Giza, is also the only one still standing. To emphasize its enormity, Curlee paints an image of Napoleon standing on the ruins of another nearby pyramid; thus, readers view how the "huge pile of carefully cut and fitted stones" was constructed as well as a sense of scale. The author then proceeds, chronologically, through the other six wonders, responsibly discussing various archeological theories. He confirms, for instance, that the foundations of a ziggurat at King Nebuchadrezzar II's palace were uncovered, but that experts disagree about whether sufficient proof exists of the hanging gardens at Babylon. Curlee also takes subtle stands: although he sketches four "versions" of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, he expresses his own preference with his full-bleed portrait of the structure. The expanse of his ambitious subject does not allow the author to delve into the kinds of details allowed by his single-

subject volumes, but he certainly whets readers' appetites with this well-researched introduction. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2001
Release date: 03/01/2002
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