Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pompeii: Lost and Found

Pompeii: Lost and Found

Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrator:  Bonnie Christensen 
For ages 6 to 10
Random House, 2006   ISBN: 978-0375828898

It was August 24th in A.D. 79 and the people of Pompeii should have noticed all the warning signals that indicated that something was about to happen. Streams suddenly dried up, dogs howled, and the large mountain near the town, Vesuvius, was smoking fiercely. In the afternoon of that day the mountain blew, sending smoke, rocks, hot ash, and invisible poisonous gas up into the air and out across the countryside. Ash fell so heavily on the town that it was soon completely buried and thus it remained until one day in the 1500's when the town's remains were discovered.

Over the years more and more ruins and archeological finds have been dug up and at present time about two thirds of the town has been unearthed. The remains of Pompeii are in a remarkable state of preservation and they have helped historians get a fascinating picture of ancient Roman life. Remains of food, plants, frescoes, graffiti, household goods and the people themselves all tell the story of the town, its people, and its sudden end.

This is a fascinating account of the story of one of the world's most extraordinary archeological sites. The fresco artwork not only illustrates the text but it also shows the reader some of the items that have been found at the Pompeii site. This style of painting not only compliments Mary Pope Osborne's carefully researched words but it also beautifully captures the atmosphere of the town of Pompeii as it must have been two thousand years ago.