© Image of The House of the Faun’s four-page spread courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series
Buried and Almost Forgotten
Pompeii and other nearby cities were buried under the rubble of Vesuvius for centuries, as olive groves and vineyards covered the cities below. In 1709 a well-digger discovered marble from a theater in Pompeii’s neighboring town of Herculaneum. Uncovering that treasure resulted in a series of more discoveries until Pompeii was excavated in 1748. The book covers both the before and after destruction eras.
“It was usual to have three couches in a dining room…Places on the couches were arranged by status. The most important guest was positioned on the left side of the central couch. The host reclined on the right side of the left-had couch. The couch on the right was for the lowest ranking guests. Diners leaned on their left elbows, eating with their right hands.”
© Image of the bakery with its grinder courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series
A Fascinating Lesson in History, Culture and Architecture
Explore 360° Pompeii is a gem of a book, with pages of historical facts, illustrations and amazing photographs. Each spread includes a short introduction plus text boxes that make reading fun, perfect for the age group. Some of the pages open up to glorious four page spreads that are 38 inches wide! We learn about: how Vesuvius erupted; how the city was covered with ash and forgotten for centuries; how the city is laid out; the architecture of a wealthy Roman’s house; how the wealthy entertained and dined; details about treasures found in these homes; Roman gardens; the Forum or main square in Pompeii; bars where the poor ate and where gambling took place; how cloth was manufactured in fulleries; how bakeries were set up; public baths; toilets and water supply; theaters and gladiators. Some of the facts will absolutely astound you, and the way the Romans lived 19 centuries ago was impressive.
“The first stage in cleaning cloth was to soak it in urine. This was collected in pots, left in the street for passersby to pee into. The cloth was then washed and stamped on in bronze basins containing water and fullers earth, a clay that absorbed grease.”
© Image of the exterior of the Palaestra Baths courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series
3D CD Tour Makes You Feel Like You’re Right There
After reading the book, pop the interactive CD into your computer for a fun and educational learning experience. What child wouldn’t love that? 3D model animations take you on a meticulously detailed tour of the ancient city Pompeii, making you feel as though you are right there. Use your mouse and arrows to view all around a room, up at the ceiling and down at the floor. The sites featured here include the Forum, House of Faun, Baths, Amphitheater, Bar and Bakery.
“The grain was ground in tall mills made of volcanic stone. The upper stone would be turned by a pair of donkeys or mules, chained on each side. They wore blinkers over their eyes to prevent them from being distracted.”
© Image of the interior of the Baths courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series
Why You Should Buy This Outstanding Book
As a former writer for luxury cruise lines, I did my fair share of reading about Pompeii. But it wasn’t until after reading Explore 360° Pompeii that I realized I didn’t have a true grasp on what it really looked like. The quality of the book alone, including its printing, photographs and drawings should be enough to make anyone want to buy it. The text is well written, fascinating and enlightening. Then add to that the phenomenal CD offering a mesmerizing 3D interactive experience that will capture any child’s attention, and you’ve got a wonderfully unique learning experience. How the publisher can offer all this for a mere $18.99 retail price is beyond me. It’s so important that our children learn about geography and culture, and Explore 360° Pompeii is the perfect way to do that This is not your every day nonfiction book. Rather it is a book to be treasured and a testament to the quality and care that goes into Barron’s Educational titles to educate our children.
About the Author
Peter Chrisp is a renowned author of history books for children. He has written over 80 books, many on the topics of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. He lives by the sea in Brighton, U.K.
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