Ancient China (DK Eyewitness Books)
Grade 5-10-Done in typical "Eyewitness" format, this volume touches upon such topics as Chinese history, the first emperor, inventions, health and medicine, waterways, food and drink, clothing, the Silk Road, and arts and crafts. Material from as recent as the last dynasty, which ended in 1911, is included; because all of the information is presented in double-page spreads, some cover extremely wide time frames. Reproductions of Chinese paintings and prints, while in full color, are sometimes so small as to be virtually useless. Confucianism is incorrectly called a religion; likewise the Great Wall is attributed to the first emperor rather than to Ming times. Given these limitations, the book will nonetheless be popular for browsing. —Amazon.com
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Review of Ancient China
If you are familiar with the "Eyewitness books", then you know how this book is set up. Set up into very short chapters (or 2 to 4 pages), the book includes amazing photographs of everything from Ancient China. The chapters include information about China as an ancient empire, the art of war, emperors, inventions, architecture, clothing, food/drink, festivals, religion, arts/crafts, and the end of the empire. The chapters begin with a short one or two paragraph overview of the topic and the pages are dominated by the pictures. Each picture has a short, detailed description, providing a lot of information in a small amount of space. The best way to describe it, perhaps, is if a very extensive exhibit on China were on display at a museum: TONS of things to look at with descriptions, but without interest or a little bit of background knowledge, students get bored quickly.
This is NOT a reading book (e.g., a novel), but can be used by the teacher to show students various aspects of ancient China (e.g., the ships, the swords, the pottery, the masks, the religious statues) or to provide a short synopsis of a topic. Some intermediate elementary students (e.g., grades 3 through 5), will LOVE to sit down and read all of these facts (these are the same kids who love reading the Guiness Book of Records). Most kids, I think, will be overwhelmed by the amount of information in here. If a teacher wanted all students to review this book, a scavenger hunt would be a great way to use it or as a resource book if the students are creating descriptions of Ancient China.