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Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Romans: Gods, Emperors and Dormice by Marcia Williams

Release Date - September 2013

Marcia Williams
Candlewick Press

Book Review by Bob Walch

Using her signature comic-strip style, Marcia Williams introduces Dormeo, a gladiator, berry-nibbler, dormouse and, your guide to ancient Rome. This cute, diminutive tour guide and historian will introduce young readers to the temperamental gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus as well as the mortals, such as Romulus and Remus who are associated with this legendary culture.

The journey takes you from the birth of the Roman Republic to the death of Julius Caesar. Along the way you’ll discover how the Romans lived, how they treated their children, what they did to amuse themselves and who some of their good and not-so-good emperors were.

There’s lots of interesting information in this book but the key is not to overlook where the author places it. Besides the central cartoon spreads on each page Williams also utilizes special boxes at the bottom of each page, plus the margins of the pages. Pay attention to Dormeo and his comments or you won’t get the full story!

This is a very “busy” book with lots happening on each page; thus, older readers (eight and up) will get more out of it. It would be ideal for introducing a unit on Rome or a discussion of ancient cultures.

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