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PETER KENT'S CITY ACROSS TIME: From the Stone Age to the Distant Future

Author: Peter Kent

Illustrator: Peter Kent

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Publisher: Kingfisher,

Material: hard cover

Summary: From prehistoric huts to the bustling cities of today, this book shows how the city developed through history. The detailed cross sections show what is happening in buildings above and below ground. You will also see support systems like water mains, sewers, and subways. This is an illustrated history of how cities have evolved over the centuries.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, interactive reading

Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 9 and up

Interest Level: 8 to 12

Reading Level: 6.3

Age of Child: Read by a 9-year-old boy.

Young Reader Reaction: I shared this with my nephew and he loved it. In fact, he wanted to keep it so I let him!

Adult Reader Reaction: Quite honestly, I liked this book so much I almost didn’t pass it on! Check out each detailed drawing and you’ll also discover that Peter Kent has a sense of humor!

Pros: The cut-away illustrations showing various cities above and below ground are excellent. The time periods are also representative of various historical developments in city planning.

Cons: The text is limited but the author does provide a short glossary. And, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words so this book does work.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. I’d buy this one since I think you and your child will return to it over and over again.


Educational Themes: In addition to the evolution of city design, the illustrations allow for exploring so many aspects of urban life and the purposes of cities over time.

Notes: Bob Walch, Monterey, California, sent us this review. Bob's reviews appear in the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, Aptos Times, Ride/Western Times and Coast Views Magazine. His online reviews can be found at MyShelf, Roundtable Reviews, Parent Click, Midwest Book Review, and I Love a Mystery.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, history, geography, urban planning, architecture

Date(s) Reviewed: July 2010

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