British Museum: A History of the World in 25 Cities


This superb guide to some of the greatest cities in the world has been co-authored by Tracey Turner and Andrew Donkin, in consultation with specialist curators at the British Museum.  The cities chosen enable readers to visit cities from every inhabited continent on Earth.  From the earliest walled city of Jericho, built over 10,000 years ago right up to the ultra modern metropolis of Tokyo, the most-densely populated city in the world.

Each city is profiled on two double-page spreads, covering both the history and how it’s inhabitants lived.  A key feature of the the book is the vibrant, beautifully detailed artwork from Libby Vander Ploeg.  Every carefully researched map takes readers on a city tour at a unique moment in time – from exploring Athens in ancient Greece during the birth of democracy, to walking the beautiful lamplit streets of medieval Benin, deep in the West African rainforest.

Packed with countless facts for curious readers to return to again and again, this is a perfect gift for children who want to explore history and geography from around the world.

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British Museum: A History of the World in 25 Cities

Tracey Turner and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Libby Vander Ploeg

(Nosy Crow) – hardback

This is a quite fabulous informative and inspiring treasure trove, taking us on an epic, in-depth tour of some of the most extraordinary cities around the world.
Written by Tracey Turner and Andrew Donkin in consultation with British Museum experts, A History of the World in 25 Cities is a wonderful concept, superbly executed.  Furthermore, Libby Vander Ploeg’s luminous and detailed illustrations add to the wonderful reading experience.
There is a lively, thought-provoking introduction from the authors that places cities in the context of the development of civilisation.  Readers then embark on a thrilling journey of discovery through 25 cities.  Among these are Jericho in 8500 BC, Athens and Rome from the ancient period.  We then move through history, including rain-forested Benin in the 1500s, seventeenth-century Delhi and eighteenth-century Paris.  Moving into the 20th and 21st centuries we encounter 1930s New York, and modern-day Tokyo. Each city is presented with fabulous maps and a host of fascinating facts.  Further, the conclusion of the book looks ahead to the cities of the future.
This is a quite excellent guide to some of the most important and influential cities in history.  It should be in every young person’s and school libraries.
Illustrator Libby Vander Ploeg’s web site is an excellent resource and includes skill-sharing tips and a review of her current projects.
Readers wanting to find out more about cities and how they work should check out The Cities Book and How Cities Work.  Both are available in the Bookwagon on-line bookstore.


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