Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Rome: In Spectacular Cross-Section

Rome: In Spectacular Cross-Section

Andrew Solway
Illustrator:  Stephen Biesty 
Nonfiction and Fiction Picture Book
For ages 8 and up
Scholastic, 2003   ISBN: 0439455464

Titus Cotta and his family are celebrating a festival day today. There will a parade and chariot races to watch, a celebratory feast in the evening, and best of all Titus Cotta doesn’t have to have any lessons with his tutor. Instead he and his father will be out together all day.

Let us spend the day with Titus and his father, going from their home on through the streets of Rome to the temple. From there the two go to the Forum where Titus’ father sees a business partner. Then Titus has the thrill of going to the Colosseum for the first time. Here he sees performing elephants, and the hunting of huge wild cats. On their way to the baths afterward, the father and son stop at the docks quickly just to make sure that all is well there and that a shipment of olive oil has arrived safely.

This oversized book is packed with heavily annotated illustrations rich with detail. Stephen Biesty, who is the master of cross-section art, takes the reader inside Roman homes, onto the streets and into the shops, into a temple, and more. The annotations the accompanies the art provides readers with a wealth of information about Rome and the Roman people.