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ESCAPE FROM POMPEII by Christina Balit


by Christina Balit & illustrated by Christina Balit

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8050-7324-8
Publisher: Henry Holt

A sketchily told, if more elaborately illustrated, tale of Pompeii’s destruction as witnessed by two young natives. When the city’s formerly bright, bustling streets begin to fill with ash and choking gasses, Tranio and Livia run for the harbor, to stow away aboard a departing merchant vessel. Later, they watch from the deck as Vesuvius, “Gentle Mountain,” blows its top, sending “streams of molten liquid” over “a nearby town,” before burying Pompeii. In contrast to the rather sparsely detailed text, Balit draws every Pompeiian cobblestone and street sign with fussy precision, meanwhile capturing a sense of period by placing robed human figures topped with tight ringlets in stylized poses. She closes with a large-scale map and a small-type description of Pompeii’s modern excavation. A few morsels of fact, a few of story: likely only to whet readers’ appetites for fuller accounts, such as Shelley Tanaka’s Buried City of Pompeii (1997). (Historical fiction/picture book. 8-10)